When the Buffalo Bills' first-team offense takes the field in tonight's pre-season game against the Minnesota Vikings, they'll be joined by center Eric Wood and right tackle Erik Pears, according to a report from BuffaloBills.com.
Chris Brown writes that both starting linemen - who have both been sparse practice participants this summer - will play about 10 plays, or roughly half of the amount that the top offensive unit is expected to play. Both players are returning to the playing field following surgeries; Wood's repaired an ACL last year, and Pears had a hernia attended to this off-season.
This is good news, obviously, and it also brings up an interesting question regarding the battle between Cordy Glenn and Chris Hairston for the left tackle job. Hairston won't need to fill in for Pears for the first ten or so plays tonight. It might make sense for the Bills to start Hairston on the left, then flip him over to the right when Pears departs. Otherwise, if the team starts Glenn - who needs all the reps he can get - Hairston might not play on the left with the first-team offense for a second straight week. We'll see who starts at left tackle later tonight.
Kraig Urbik, as usual, will relieve Wood in the pivot - and Urbik, in turn, will be relieved by Chad Rinehart at right guard.