Woody Allen famously said, “80 percent of success is showing up.” Unfortunately for Bills center Eric Wood, showing up to play on Sundays has been his worst problem in four seasons with the Bills.
Wood has never played a full season in the NFL. Here's a season-by-season breakdown:
2009- 10 games, season ended with a broken left leg
2010- 14 games, missed two games in weeks 12 and 13
2011- 9 games, season ended with a torn ACL in right knee
2012- 12 games, torn MCL in left knee
Wood was a first round pick (28th overall) in the 2009 draft, the last draft of the Dick Jauron era.
As we know, Jauron had a knack for finding players that were injury prone and couldn’t stay on the field. One of Jauron’s only decent picks, talent wise, still has trouble staying healthy for an entire season.
What’s unfortunate about Wood’s situation is he’s been a very good player. He has been the leader of an underrated offensive line since taking over at center in 2010. He brings a level of scrappiness to the offense when in the lineup.
The center position is becoming increasingly important in today’s NFL and Wood does a great job setting up pass protections. It’s been rare to see a free rusher over the last two years barreling down on Ryan Fitzpatrick.
He began to turn the Bills from a wimpy, Jauron-type team, to a team that isn’t going to back down from an opponent that wants to bully its way to a victory.
However, I would think that three serious lower leg injuries will hamper Wood’s athletic ability in the near future, and that’s if he doesn’t have another injury. Some players don’t have luck on their side when it comes to injuries and clearly Wood is one of them.
For the sake of comparison, Andy Levitre is quite the opposite. He was a second round pick in 2009 and hasn’t missed a game in his NFL career.
2013 will be Wood’s last season of his rookie contract with the Bills.
I think they would be better off drafting a center in a later round this year to start in 2014, or wait to find a new center in the ’14 off-season.
If I hear that the Bills’ brass are in talks with Wood’s agent about an extension, I think they would be making a mistake.
It would be an unfortunate and sad departure, despite only playing four or five seasons, but it’s a decision the Bills would be better off making.