2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Lions' rookie Reiff on the spot with Backus ailing

    2012-11-21 03:08

Updates. With AP Photos.
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) - Riley Reiff was one of the last players to leave the field Tuesday at Detroit's practice facility.

That was appropriate, because the Lions' rookie offensive lineman could have quite a task on his hands this week - without a lot of time to prepare.

Reiff may very well start for the Lions at left tackle Thursday against the Houston Texans. Jeff Backus, a mainstay on the offensive line for over a decade, is recovering from a hamstring injury, his streak of 186 starts in serious jeopardy. Reiff, a first-round draft pick this year, is preparing for whatever role awaits him on Thanksgiving.

Backus was hurt in the first half of Sunday's loss to Green Bay, leaving Reiff to fill in.

``I'm ready to go,'' Reiff said. ``Any time you get on the field, you gain a little bit more knowledge, a little more experience.''

Backus did not participate in practice Tuesday, and his status for the game is in serious doubt. He's started every game so far in his 12-year NFL career.

``I don't know if there's a player in this league I have more respect for,'' Detroit defensive lineman Kyle Vanden Bosch said. ``Jeff Backus has played through tons of injuries. ... He's been a true pro.''

Coach Jim Schwartz didn't rule Backus out, but his streak may soon be spoken of in the past tense.

``Any athlete takes pride in their performance, their abilities. Their availability is extremely important,'' Schwartz said. ``But every athlete also has what's in the best interest of the team ahead of themselves and Jeff is that kind of guy also.''

Reiff was taken with the 23rd pick in the draft out of Iowa. He was a bit shy Tuesday when asked about the possibility of a start this week, but he obviously understands the responsibility he might face.

``You have to be ready,'' he said.

Reiff expects to have a few family members on hand for the Thanksgiving game, which is crucial for the Lions as they try to revive their dwindling playoff hopes. Detroit (4-6) is in last place in the NFC North, while Houston (9-1) is tied for the NFL's best record.

The Texans' defensive line is led by end J.J. Watt, who has 11.5 sacks.

``He's a very good player - hard worker,'' Reiff said. ``I have a lot of respect for him. He's playing well.''

Reiff may be well on his way to earning similar respect around the league. The 6-foot-6, 313-pound rookie stayed on the field for a few extra minutes to work with offensive lineman Dylan Gandy after practice Tuesday.

Gandy says it's not unusual for one of the younger players to put in extra work, but Reiff's performance so far has been impressive.

``He's doing really well. He's a really talented kid. He's strong,'' Gandy said. ``He works hard. He studies. He takes it very serious.''

That attitude is welcome on a Detroit team that's been a disappointment so far. The Lions still have time to turn things around, but they may need a boost from one of their youngest players.

``I think he's up for the challenge,'' offensive lineman Rob Sims said. ``He handles his job very professionally. I expect nothing less this week.''

NOTES: WR Titus Young, whom the Lions will make inactive for Thursday's game because of what Schwartz described as ``unacceptable'' behavior last weekend against the Packers, did not practice Tuesday. ... The Lions added OL Justin Boren to the practice squad and cut DL Jimmy Saddler-McQueen.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group