Detroit Lions offensive tackle Jeff Backus, who will soon become a free agent, had surgery on Monday to repair his torn bicep. It's unclear exactly how long Backus will be out because of the injury, but Jim Schwartz did say that Backus will "miss a significant portion of time." However, Schwartz also said that he doesn't expect Backus' injury to last into training camp.
It remains to be seen if this injury will affect Backus when free agency begins. Even without the injury many have speculated that the Lions will move in a different direction, but I'm thinking the opposite will happen. Even with the injury, I think it's likely that Backus will be re-signed to a deal for one or two years. Dominic Raiola thinks Backus will be back, and based on some of Schwartz's comments yesterday, I think Backus is still considered an important part of the offensive line going forward.
"He's been a very, very consistent player over the course of his career. I think that last year we saw him have a couple rough outings early in the year and settle down and had a really good year. I think this year he had some rough outings early in the year, but again, being the veteran he is, he was able to settle down and hold that position down and do a good job for us there."
If the Lions actually had somebody waiting in the wings to replace Backus, I could see them moving on. Considering there is nobody really ready to step in and take over the left tackle position, chances are Backus will be around for another year or two while the Lions groom his replacement.