BBAO: Impact of Jeff Backus injury

We're Black ad Blue All Over:

Lost in other season-ending issues for the Detroit Lions was a significant injury that could impact the team's offseason plans.

Left tackle Jeff Backus suffered a torn biceps muscle late in the Lions' 45-28 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and coach Jim Schwartz confirmed that Backus was set to undergo surgery Monday. Schwartz said Backus will miss "a significant portion of time" as he recovers this offseason.

Backus is an unrestricted free agent, and if the Lions tried to extend his contract during the season, it was never reported publicly. He will turn 35 shortly after the 2012 season starts, and at some point the Lions will have to begin addressing his replacement. Whether this injury will jump-start that process is unclear. He isn't likely to be recovered when free agency opens in March, so some projection will be required.

Continuing around the NFC North: