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Timeline: Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood planned on retiring after Pro Bowl

Wood’s debilitating neck injury meant he was going to step aside after the Pro Bowl.

Buffalo Bills fans learned the shocking news Friday morning that Pro Bowl center Eric Wood, who has been the heart and soul of the offense, had suffered a career-ending neck injury.

Multiple outlets confirmed the report about Wood and his career-ending injury. Wood, who turns 32 this offseason, played in every snap of the 2017 season.

However, we learned from Wood that following his year-ending physical with the Bills in early January, he was informed of the severity of the neck injury. After he consulted with physicians, Wood was told that he would not be cleared to play football, regardless of whether he underwent surgery or further treatment on his ailing neck.

Wood, who was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate, was hoping to use the Pro Bowl as his farewell from football, according to a tweet from longtime Buffalo News reporter Tim Graham. He ultimately didn’t receive the call early this week to play.

Since Wood wanted to attend the Pro Bowl and waiting for Monday the 22nd for the call, it delayed an announcement until next week. With general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott at the Senior Bowl, Wood’s farewell press conference couldn’t be this week. Wood will hold a press conference Monday at One Bills Drive to officially announce his retirement with McDermott, Beane, and probably a host of current and former Bills in attendance.

In his nine-year career with the Bills, Wood started 120 games and was the most consistent starter on an offensive line that led the league in rushing yards per game in 2016. Wood has also been a staple in the Buffalo community and a fan-favorite since arriving in 2009.