Jeff Backus returns to Lions practice

The first big issue we identified in our Detroit Lions Camp Confidential was the status of left tackle Jeff Backus, who reported to training camp with a pectoral injury and was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list. The Lions were insisting Backus would recover in time for the start of the regular season, and on Sunday he took a big step in that direction.

Backus practiced for the first time this summer after the Lions activated him from the NFI list. I don't know if that means he will play in the Lions' nationally televised preseason game Saturday against the New England Patriots, but it should put many of you at ease.

Pass protection for the Lions' first-team offensive line hasn't been bad this preseason, and I haven't seen quarterback Matthew Stafford take a significant hit. But I don't think anyone interested in the Lions' well-being wants to consider the prospects of entering the season without their starting left tackle.