When Julius Peppers blew by Jeff Backus toward the end of the second quarter on Sunday, you could tell that something bad was going to happen. Matthew Stafford dropped back to pass and had absolutely no idea Peppers was about to light him up, giving him no chance to brace for the big hit that was coming.
All Backus could do is watch as Peppers drilled Stafford and drove him into the ground. The ball came loose and was recovered by Chicago, eventually leading to a field goal. But that obviously wasn't the worst part. Stafford went down on his shoulder in a bad way, and for the second straight Lions game in Chicago, he had to leave the game with an injury.
As you can imagine, Backus feels pretty badly about what happened. Because Peppers got by him, Stafford took a hard hit and is now out for a still-to-be-determined amount of time. The play not only cost the Lions points, but also their quarterback.
"It’s your worst nightmare as an offensive lineman," he said quietly. "It’s our job to keep (Stafford) upright."
Backus’ face reddened. He had cost his team immeasurably. It was not his intent, but it was now his burden.
"We can’t have any mistakes," he said. "There’s consequences. And today, it cost us having Matt in the second half. ... I’ve never been in this situation before, where I’m the direct cause of my quarterback getting hurt."
Backus certainly isn't the only one to allow a sack against Peppers, but unfortunately this one resulted in an injury, and because of that it will not soon be forgotten.