Bills G Wood expects to be ready for training camp
Eric Wood laughs as he recalls being laid up in a Jacksonville hospital in November, when he and his surgeon repeatedly watched a video posted on YouTube showing how the Buffalo Bills guard broke two bones in his left leg.
``Yeah, I've seen it a few times,'' Wood said Tuesday, explaining how his leg was so swollen that his doctor reviewed the video to ensure Wood also didn't hurt his ankle. ``It's funny when you go to YouTube to get your medical analysis. But, I guess, that's our day and age.''
Wood might also be something of a medical marvel.
Drafted 28th overall out of Louisville last year, Wood's walking without a limp and confident his leg will be fully recovered by the start of training camp this summer. That's great progress for a player who initially feared he might not play again after being hurt during an 18-15 loss at Jacksonville on Nov. 22.
``It's a long way to go, and there's going to be a lot of steps I take,'' said Wood, who started the first 10 games at right guard before being hurt. ``But I'm really encouraged with the way it's progressed especially the last month.''
Wood has been off crutches for the past two weeks and is no longer required to wear a protective boot. He's able to handle stairs and has been cleared for light lower body workouts as he arrived this week for the start of the Bills voluntary offseason conditioning program.
The injury was so gruesome that CBS elected against showing more than one replay of Wood getting hurt while pass-blocking in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Jaguars defensive tackle Montavious Stanley broke in on the left side and made a diving attempt to tackle quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick near the line of scrimmage. Stanley got only a piece of the quarterback, then landed directly on Wood's lower leg, bending it sideways.
Wood is already working on rebuilding his upper body strength while taking the rest of his recuperation slowly. Barring setbacks, he doesn't intend to start running until June.
``It's just something to overcome. I'm looking forward to coming back,'' he said. ``Everyone wants to say I won't be back this year and I may never play again. That just fuels my fire to want to prove them wrong and come back full strength.''
First-year coach Chan Gailey was impressed to have Wood up and walking this week.
``I can see that he's encouraged and we're all encouraged by that as well,'' Gailey said. ``I have no questions about Eric coming back and playing extremely well this year and in years to come.''
Wood is tentatively slotted to return to his same position on a line that's expected to feature some newcomers. The Bills signed free agent veteran Cornell Green, who's pegged to start at right tackle. Left tackle is a question mark with Demetrius Bell recovering from a knee injury.