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“It’s hard to replace a rock that’s been there for 12 years,” said veteran center Dominic Raiola. “It’s just different without him out there.”

Detroit drafted Riley Reiff with the 23rd pick overall this year, planning to groom him as player to eventually replace Backus. The rookie might have to take on defensive end J.J. Watt, who ranks among NFL leaders with 11 1/2 sacks and leads all defensive linemen in the league with 11 passes defended.

Houston, though, won’t have to worry about No. 2 receiver Titus Young taking advantage of one-one-one coverage because the Lions announced Monday he would be inactive because of his “unacceptable” behavior during the game against the Packers.

“When you’re a player, it’s your job to make the team happy,” Schwartz said. “It’s not the team’s job to make you happy.”

Lions fans have not been happy when it comes to Thanksgiving Day results.

Detroit has lost a franchise-record eight straight on the holiday _ by an average of three-plus touchdowns _ and has only one victory in the last 11 games in its annual showcase after winning nine of 12 games from 1989-2000.

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