Neck injury forces Eric Wood to retire

Discovered during season-ending physical

BUFFALO, NY (WROC) - Eric Wood's football career is over. 

Scout Fantasy broke the news Friday morning that Wood has a neck injury that will prevent him from ever putting on a Bills uniform again. 

 

 

A couple of hours later, Wood released a statement confirming the injury. Wood said it was discovered as part of a routine end of the season medical evaluation. 

"After consulting with Dr. Cappuccino and other physicians, I was informed that I was no longer cleared to play football, even with surgery or further treatment."

Wood will hold a press conference in Orchard Park at 1:00pm on Monday to discuss the injury further. He thanked the many who offered thoughts and prayers. 

 

 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the injury is partly the result of "wear and tear." There have been other reports indicating Wood's injury is not due to one traumatic event.

 

 

Richie Incognito called it a "huge loss to the Bills organization."

"Eric's a special guy," Incognito said via the Bills twitter feed from the Pro Bowl in Orlando. "He's been a great friend to me. A guy that I really leaned on a lot when I first got back into the league. He was really instrumental in all of my success the last couple of years. It's really a sad day."

Wood was taken in the first round of the 2009 draft by the Bills at pick 28 overall.

He played ten games at right guard his rookie season, before moving to center the next year. He's been the Bills unquestioned starter in the middle the last seven seasons. 

Wood dealt with questions about his durability early in his career, culminating with a torn ACL that ended his 2011 season after nine games. 

However, Wood played 14 of 16 games the next season and did not miss a game from 2013-2015. 

That streak of durability was ended by a broken leg on a Monday night in Seattle during the 2016 season. Wood played every offensive snap in 2017. 

Wood has long been a pillar of the Buffalo community and a leader in the Bills locker room. The Eric Wood Foundation has supported sick, physically challenged and special needs children for the last four years. 

"He's Buffalo through and through," Incognito said. "Since he's got there, he's tried to help as many people as he can in the community in Buffalo and in Louisville (where Wood played college football)."

Other Bills players quickly offered their thoughts about Wood's injury on Friday. 

 

 

 

 

Along with Kyle Williams, no Bills player faced more playoff drought related questions from media than Wood.

 

 

 

Wood signed a two year contract extension for the 2018 and 2019 seasons last August and, seemingly, had every intention of continuing to be a part of the rebuild in Buffalo. 

Instead, he'll say good-bye to the Bills on Monday.


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