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Given a choice, he would rather have been back in Detroit on Saturday night, preparing for the Lions’ crucial home game with the San Francisco 49ers today.
But, if he couldn’t be there, being back in Iowa City mingling with the Iowa football team wasn’t a bad alternative.
Then came this season. Or at least the first five games.
Of the 165 games the Detroit Lions have played since taking the offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the 2001 NFL draft – Backus with the 18th overall pick and Raiola at No. 50 – they have played together in all but four.