The news this time in the season for Eric Wood has been uncommonly bad concerning his health, and after leaving Sunday's game with a knee injury that trend continued. Wood sustained a torn MCL and will miss anywhere from two weeks to the remainder of the season.
For the fourth-year center, this marks the third time in four seasons that Wood has seen his season interrupted by a serious injury.
"It's so disappointing that when it happened I was in disbelief that I just played the next play. I was like, 'Oh whatever I'm not coming out.' Then I felt a little instability on the next play and thought I better go say something."
The injury occurred on a 2nd-and- 6 play at the Bills 24-yard line with 10 minutes to play when Fred Jackson ran up the middle for a three-yard gain. The back side end for the Jaguars, Jeremy Mincey, came flying in to make a play and missed Jackson, but caved in Wood's left leg.
"Looking at it on film it could've been a heck of a lot worse if I didn't have a knee brace on," said Wood. "That guy came flying at the line of scrimmage and just dove into my legs. It wasn't a dirty play, just a stupid fluke accident."
That left leg is the same one that was caved in on a run play his rookie season when he broke both the tibia and fibula at Jacksonville in Week 11 of the 2009 campaign. In 2010 Wood missed a pair of games due to a knee injury, and last season he suffered a torn ACL on a non-contact play when his right knee got stuck in the turf at Dallas in Week 10.
"It's unbelievable," he said. "You do all you can to prepare. You keep your feet moving on every play. You think of all the things that could've got you in the past and you try and improve it for this year and you have a guy blocked with my legs moving and a guy comes flying down the line of scrimmage."
Bills head coach Chan Gailey has unfortunately become all too familiar with losing his starting center to injury.
"That's always tough to lose a good player and he's obviously one of our best players," said Gailey. "We've gone through this before and hopefully we'll continue on in the same vein. We'll try and do the best we can."
Fortunately for Wood no surgery is required this time.
"The MRI on my knee this morning and they said your knee looks perfect," he said. "For an offensive lineman that had a tib-fib (broken tibia, fibula) on that same leg, I literally have no damage except for an MCL, which is pretty rare for an O-lineman. It's not degenerative, it's just stupid stuff keeps happening. I played 49 straight games in college and never got banged up and maybe my luck ran out then.
The Bills pivot man is hopeful that he recovers quickly to play again before the season is over.
"All I can do right now is hope to make it back for the last two games and we'll see what they have to do from a personnel standpoint," Wood said. "I understand moves that may need to be made but I'm going to go after it and try to get back for the last two."
Gailey has a preliminary plan heading into Sunday's game with the shuffling that needs to take place on the interior of Buffalo's offensive line.
"The plan today is (Kraig) Urbik at center and (David) Snow at guard like we finished (Sunday), but don't hold me to that. That could change during the course of the week."
Urbik made five starts at center last season in place of Wood after he went on injured reserve with his torn ACL. Snow is another option, but being an undrafted rookie, it's unlikely that he'll be asked to shoulder the responsibility of the center spot this Sunday.
Hairston iffy for SundayBuffalo looks like they may also be without starting right tackle Chris Hairston, who left Sunday's game with a right foot injury.
"It's probably going to be tough for him to make it this week, but we don't know," said Gailey. "It's a different type of injury. They called it more of a bruise than anything, but it's a deep bruise. So how quickly that responds you just don't know, but it'll be hard for him to make it this week."
If Hairston can't play Sam Young would start at right tackle. He finished Sunday's game there and has appeared at right guard in three other games this season.
McKelvin likely to practice WednesdayThe news is better for Leodis McKelvin, who left Sunday's game with a back that locked up on him after his first and only punt return.
"He was better today," said Gailey. "He loosened up a little bit and hopefully he'll be fine by Wednesday and it'll all work itself out."