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Thursday, July 21, 2011
BBAO: Details critical on Jeff Backus' injury

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

As training camps around the NFL inevitably approach, I wonder if we're going to see more reports of players who suffered injuries while working out on their own during the offseason.

Here's one that applies to the NFC North: Detroit Lions left tackle Jeff Backus suffered a left pectoral muscle injury, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. The injury is believed to be a partially torn muscle, and his status for the start of training camp is in question.

Specifics are crucial in this case because a completely torn pectoral muscle is usually a season-ending injury. A partial tear can cause a month's absence.

Like most teams, the Lions don't have an heir apparent in-house to replace Backus if he has to miss some time. Left tackle is a difficult-enough position to fill anyway. And the Lions already are monitoring the health of right tackle Gosder Cherilus, who had microfracture surgery on his knee. Corey Hilliard and Jason Fox are the top two backup tackles.

You can say and think what you want about Backus, but losing a starting left tackle for a significant period of time is devastating for any team. A Lions source told Birkett the injury is not serious, but the team hasn't been allowed to examine him per the terms of the lockout. Stay tuned.

Continuing around the NFC North: