Former Panther announces retirement


Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 19, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood (70) looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Former Elder Panther and Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood recently announced his retirement from the NFL. Wood who played football here at Elder was a part of the back-to-back State Championship teams of ’02 and ’03 and graduated in 2004.

After graduating, Wood attended the University of Louisville on a scholarship and started at center for the Cardinals. Following his tenure for the Uof L, Wood was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 28th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Wood spent nine seasons with the Bills. He started at guard then moved to center a couple years after he was drafted. In a total of nine seasons Wood was voted to the Pro-Bowl once in 2015.

Eric Wood started 49 games for Louisville and eventually was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft

Wood announced his retirement on January 26th during a press conference. Wood originally received the news just an hour before his son Garrett was born and was waiting to announce his retirement until after the Pro-Bowl but the leak caused him to release the information sooner.

Wood stated in his press conference that he can no loner play football even with rehab and surgery. A return was not possible at all.

Wood originally hurt his neck against the Bengals in week five and then hurt his neck again against the Buccaneers the following game. After the Bucs game the team doctor ordered a x-ray and the test showed no significant damage.

After the season ended, asĀ  a part of the exit physical they re-evaluated Wood’s neck. They got an MRI and the test revealed that there was a disk that was severely close to his spinal cord. This disk out of place at C2-C3 left him with no choice and he had to retire from football.

Eric Wood’s original plan was to retire at the Pro Bowl on his time. The doctors told him he couldnt even particpate in the Pro-Bowl this year and the press leak forced him to tell the media the severity of his injury.

Although Wood is unable to play again, during his press conference he never uttered the word, “retired.” Wood kept mentioning he is no longer able to play football.

Eric Wood’s 9-year career came to an abrupt halt when a MRI revealed a disk in his neck was dangerously close to his spinal cord.

Wood is still technically on the roster and is under contract until 2019 and guaranteed $14.2 million. Wood said he was looking forward to helping the team in some capacity as a possible coach or mentor for young upcoming players on the Bills roster.