Eric Wood had more on his mind than preparing for the first playoff game of his career as the veteran center and his Buffalo Bills teammates were getting ready for their Jan. 7 wild-card encounter with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
His wife, Leslie, was due to deliver the couple's son, Garrett. One possible arrival time was during the week leading up to the Bills' trip to Jacksonville. But that presented a challenge, because Leslie was in Louisville, where the couple lives in the offseason.
As he explained Wednesday to SiriusXM NFL Radio, team owners Terry and Kim Pegula — along with New Era Cap, which owns the naming rights to the stadium in which the Bills play their home games — offered a private jet to fly Wood to Louisville if Garrett came along in the days leading up to the game. The hourlong trip enhanced the possibility of the player making it to the hospital in time for the birth.
"It was kind of a crazy time preparing for a game and the birth of my first son coming,” Wood said.
It could have gotten even crazier, if Leslie delivered during the game, which was a very real possibility. But it didn't happen. Garrett arrived last Thursday.
Bills safety Micah Hyde, another guest on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, picked the New England Patriots to beat the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.
"I couldn't bet against Tom Brady," Hyde said. "You have to get a lot of pressure on him & in the secondary guys have to hold up."
Doing so against tight end Rob Gronkowski is no easy task, as Hyde discovered first-hand during the season.
"Try and get hands on him at all times," the safety said. "He had a one-handed TD catch on me, and coaches said, 'Just move on, man. Nothing you can do."
The Bills signed safety Kelcie McCray to a reserve/future contract.