Buffalo's starting offensive line has been a bit disjointed this preseason with center Eric Wood and right tackle Erik Pears only getting work with the rest of the unit in fits and starts. The initial plan for Wood in his return from ACL knee surgery was to play in the team's third preseason game on Aug. 25th, but that timetable has been moved up to tonight's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
"We got the green light so they're both going to play," head coach Chan Gailey told Buffalobills.com. "We'll see how it goes."
Wood and Pears are going to play 10 plays in tonight's game, which is about half of the total time the starters are expected to see against the Vikings.
Pears returned to the practice setting this past week after missing time with a strained groin. He had hernia surgery earlier this offseason. Wood has been worked in steadily at center coming off ACL surgery.
Initially Wood was getting just two reps at a time with the first unit during team portions of practice. He would then step out and let Kraig Urbik kick inside to replace him.
This past week Wood's reps were doubled to four reps at a time before stepping out of a series during 11-on-11 work. Pears also was getting four reps at a time at right tackle this past week before being subbed out as well.
It's expected that Urbik will replace Wood at center once he exits the game. Chris Hairston or Sam Young would likely replace Pears at right tackle after his 10 snaps.
Kickoff between the Bills and Vikings is at 8 pm and airs locally in Buffalo on WKBW-TV Channel 7.