ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Riley Reiff had a quiet rookie season, playing all 16 games for the Detroit Lions while Jeff Backus remained the starter at left tackle.
Now Backus is retired, so that job belongs to Reiff and the first challenge this season will be a formidable one.
Reiff and the Lions host the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, which means a visit from pass rushing star Jared Allen. Reiff, a first-round draft pick in 2012, will have an early chance to show he’s ready for a bigger role as part of a new-look offensive line in Detroit.
The Lions lost Backus and free agent tackle Gosder Cherilus in the offseason, so there will be some new faces in important spots up front.
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