Backus released the following statement about his retirement:
"Today, I've come to the conclusion that it's time for me to hang up my cleats and retire. It's a bittersweet moment, but I'm content knowing I gave everything I had, played as hard as I could and tried my best to live up to the standards I believe in.
"I want to thank the Ford Family and the Detroit Lions for allowing me the privilege to represent the city of Detroit and play in the National Football League for the last 12 years. I also want to thank all of my coaches and teammates for all their support over the years.
"To the fans of Detroit, I thank you for the support and loyalty you have shown the Lions and myself. You deserve a winner.
"I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Coach Carr and everyone at the University of Michigan, who all played such an important role in my development as a player and a person.
"Most importantly, I want to thank my wife, my parents, my brother, all of my family and friends, and my agent Pat Dye Jr. Your unwavering support, guidance and sacrifices allowed me to follow my dream of playing in the NFL. I could never thoroughly explain how much that has meant to me.
"To my dad, you set the standards I live by. Your support and unbelievable perseverance motivates me daily to be the best that I can be. Thanks!
"Looking forward, I wish the entire Detroit Lions organization and all Lions' fans the best. I will always be a Lion at heart."