Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood was a beloved figure in the community and a devoted Bill, who played his entire eight year career with Buffalo. In that time, he appeared in one Pro Bowl and started and played in 120 games. The first round pick was a consistent piece of the Buffalo Bills offensive line for the past eight years, and Bills fans were certainly sorry to hear about his retirement.

Injury

But one thing that has seemed to remain secret is the exact extent of Eric Wood's injury. How serious was it? When did it occur? Where was it from? According to NFL.com, Wood retired due to a season ending neck injury that would have prevented him from being cleared to play in future seasons.

NFL.com also stated that the injury was discovered in his "exit physical." The physical is a routine exam used by NFL teams to determine an athlete's readiness to play in the following season.

Wood confirmed his retirement on Twitter.

It seems a little strange that this injury would be discovered following the Bills playoff game against the Jaguars, especially when Wood did not appear to get injured in the game. That has led to some fan speculation that doctors allowed Wood to play without knowing if he would be safe on the field.

In fact, there is some evidence that suggests his serious condition could have appeared on an X-Ray much earlier in the 2017 season.

Thankfully, the doctors were able to catch the life threatening injury before Wood could play a snap in 2018. But this really does call into question the medical process. Were doctors checking on Wood's situation before every game? If not, every game he played could have been a life endangering one.

Press Conference and Bonus Structure

As if Wood's career ending injury wasn't enough, it appears that he will now have to battle to receive the guaranteed money he was due as part of his contract. In a press conference today, Wood spent exactly two minutes at the podium and answered very few questions, if any.

It's certainly an emotional time for a man who spent his entire career in Buffalo, but by all accounts this press conference was strange. Wood didn't really say anything, spent no time answering questions, and showed up nearly an hour late. It's understandable [VIDEO]when $4.8 million of guaranteed money [VIDEO] is at stake, but Bills fans and reporters were hoping to hear a little more from the center.

Eric Wood doesn't want to leave the Buffalo Bills just yet, and is hoping to take on some sort of coaching role with the team.

Thankfully, Eric Wood is O.K., but he was one bad hit away from a very serious medical injury and he will have to stay away from playing the game of football to avoid one.