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 said he would hold a press conference in Orchard Park on Monday to discuss the injury further. He thanked the many who offered thoughts and prayers.
The Bills later announced that press conference would be at 1pm on Monday and include Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott.
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
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 one of the most respected men in the Bills locker room. The Eric Wood Foundation has supported sick, physically challenged and special needs children for the last four years.
Bills players quickly offered their thoughts about Wood's injury on Friday.
Along with Kyle Williams, no Bills player has faced more playoff drought related questions from media than Wood. While Williams got most of the attention as the "long suffering" Bills player without a playoff berth, Wood was equally deserving.
Wood also deserves a full and happy retirement. It's possible this diagnosis will help provide exactly that.
Regardless. Monday will be the first day for Wood in Orchard Park as a former player. It will be a hard day for Bills fans and players, young and old.
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