Lions gain confidence in rookie tackle Riley Reiff

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Looking for a silver lining in the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day giveaway to the Houston Texans?

First-round draft pick Riley Reiff, who for the most part has played as a tackle eligible on run downs this season, held up fine at left tackle in place of Jeff Backus, who missed a game for the first time in his long career with a hamstring injury.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Reiff did not allow a sack and was called for one penalty – illegal hands to the face. The Lions didn’t hit a home run when they drafted tackle Gosder Cherilus in the first round in 2008. They need Reiff to be a pillar for the line for seasons to come and so far the results are positive.

What will the Lions do once Backus is healed up?

“That's way too hypothetical,” Schwartz said. “But Jeff's always come back and he's worked really hard to do that and he's an incredibly tough guy, so we'll just have to wait and see.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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