By Jay Skurski
With the news this week that Detroit Lions tackle Jeff Backus' streak of 186 consecutive starts could end on Thanksgiving, it got me thinking about who owned the Bills' longest such streak.
That would be left guard Andy Levitre, who's started the first 58 games of his career and counting after joining the Bills as a second-round draft choice (51st overall} in 2009.
"I have thought about it. I guess I've been pretty lucky not to have anything serious enough to keep me out of a game," Levitre said. "I try and take care of my body during the season so injuries don't occur. Sometimes there's things that happen that are kind of freak accidents, but I guess I've just been pretty lucky not to have something like that happen."
Levitre has been a rock for the Bills in his four seasons, starting in three different spots along the line (center and left tackle).
"I try to stay as flexible as possible," he said. "Flexibility helps prevent injuries. That's something I've always tried to do since college. I've always been fairly flexible, so I try and stay on top of that. It helps me move around."
Consistency has been the buzzword for the Bills all season, something that's true year after year along the offensive line.
"I know the coaches really appreciate that, too," Levitre said of being there every Sunday. "If you can keep the same guys out on the field all year round, it’s always a positive."
Levitre is in the final year of his rookie contract.
"There haven’t been any talks really at all," he said of negotiations for a new deal. "I'm kind of just waiting. Obviously I'm just trying to focus on the season, play my best, and let that stuff hash out afterward. As of right now, there's been absolutely nothing.
"It's still early. I think I have until March, so I'm just kind of waiting to hear from upstairs, but I'd love to be back here, obviously. The Bills have been great to me and I'd love to stay here. We'll see what happens from here on out."
Levitre has a long way to go to catch Backus. The Lions' veteran tackle has started every game of his 12-year career, but sounds unlikely to play Thursday on a short week because of a hamstring injury suffered Sunday against Green Bay. Backus' current streak is the third-longest active consecutive starts streak in the NFL, trailing Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber (208) and former Bills and current Redskins linebacker London Fletcher (188).