2013 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

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group