On Monday afternoon the Bills announced that Eric Wood suffered a partially torn MCL in Sunday’s 34-18 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He is expected to miss at least the next two weeks, and potentially the remainder of the season.
This injury is the most recent in a string of leg injuries for the former first round pick out of Louisville. After playing in 49 straight games while in college, Wood has suffered injuries in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. In three of the four, he suffered knee injuries that have caused him, or could cause him to miss the remainder of the season.
Now, the first one of his career was the most unfortunate, and can easily be labeled as a freak incident. If you don’t remember, it was a game in 2009, his rookie season, against Jacksonville. A Jaguars defender fell into Wood’s leg and snapped it in a very “Thiesmann-esque” injury. If you want to see it, check out the video above.
In 2010, Wood missed just two with an ankle injury, but it was an injury nonetheless.
In the 2011 season, Wood again suffered a serious knee injury when he tore his ACL in Buffalo’s game against Dallas that forced him to miss the final seven games of the season. Then there was yesterday.
After making it the first 11 games without serious issues, Wood once again suffered a knee injury. As previously mention, he partially tore his MCL, but luckily will not require surgery.
After all of these injury issues, is it time to ask if Wood is, in fact, injury prone?
The injury prone debate is something that comes up a lot when talking about different players. Matthew Stafford had his shoulder issues, Matt Schaub had his numerous problems, and Jared Gaither is just a walking injury waiting to happen. For the most part, if a player suffers injuries in each of his first four seasons, they are automatically labelled as such. However, this case is a bit different.
Wood had no injury history in college and was viewed as an ironman, of sorts. His first major injury was the freak injury in Jacksonville which was just a giant, unfortunate event. But then comes the last three years, an ankle and two knee injuries.
Not all of these are freak accidents. And while the ankle injury may not be uncommon, suffering a torn ACL and MCL in successive years is.
Now, he’s not a bad player by any means. In fact, he’s a very underrated and talented center. And there is no denying just how much he means to the offense when he is healthy and on the field; he’s the anchor of that line. However, when the time comes to discuss a new contract after the 2013 season, the discussion of his injury history has to be brought up. How can a team dedicate an immense amount of money into a guy that has the history of leg injuries that Wood has? Especially when the position he plays is on the offensive line, and he has yet to play a full season in his four-year career.
Surely there are plenty out there that disagree with the idea that he is injury prone. Some just view it as being unlucky.
Be that as it may, his injuries are still a big concern for the Bills. Besides, can’t being injury prone and unlucky fall into the same category in this situation?