Lions Expected to tender offer to Jason Fox

The Detroit Lions offensive line has experienced unbelievable continuity over the past three seasons, running out the same starting five for 42 of the possible 48 regular season games.

That's expected to change in 2013 with Gosder Cherilus hitting free agency, Jeff Backus potentially retiring, and the salaries of Stephen Peterman and Dominic Raiola making both potential cap casualties.

The Lions have been adding depth to the unit over the past few years and coach Jim Schwartz is confident the younger players in the group are ready to step in if needed.

"We're prepared for a lot of different ways," Schwartz said. "It didn't show this year because Riley (Reiff) had to play one game at left tackle, Jason Fox was an inactive for all but one game, Corey Hilliard was an inactive just about every game, but we have developed some pretty good players there. We have some pretty good players in the pipeline. If we think the best course of action is to go there, then we're prepared for that."

The Lions selected Reiff in the first round of the draft last season and he's expected to start in 2013, although where remains to be determined. General manager Martin Mayhew and the coaching staff have consistently said the long-term projection is to have Reiff replace Backus at left tackle, but the second-year player out of Iowa is capable of playing all four tackle and guard positions.

As for when the team expects to hear from Backus about his 2013 status, Schwartz says the veteran has earned the right to take the time with the decision. The league year doesn't start until March 12. 

Fox, a fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2010, battled various injuries his first two years before making it through last season unscathed. He's a restricted free agent, but is expected to be tendered by the club.

The team also added Bill Nagy off waivers during training camp last year. He was let go by the Dallas Cowboys after suffering a severe ankle injury and spent the entire season on injured reserve. A seventh-round selection out of Wisconsin in 2011, Nagy can play both guard and center.

The Lions could also look to further revamp the offensive line in the upcoming draft.

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