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Vic Carucci's Bills Wake-Up Call: Loss of Wood likely to be too much to overcome

If there's one clear reason to question the Buffalo Bills' ability to stage some sort of Donald Trump-like run to the playoffs through their final seven games of the season, it's that gaping hole that suddenly formed in the middle of their offensive line.

Losing Eric Wood for the rest of the year to the broken leg he suffered late in Monday night's loss at Seattle is going to be too much to overcome.

An average, reliable center is exceptionally difficult to replace when you have an entire offseason to work on it, using the draft or free agency, and months of practice.

Filling such a void in the middle of the season is nearly impossible -- especially when you're talking about coming up with an alternative to one of the NFL's better players at the position.

Wood has all of the qualities that every team wants from its center: strength, quickness and, most of all, the mental capacity to make all (or certainly most) of the correct line calls to handle the wide variety of defensive looks and adjustments in every game.

With his considerable intelligence, wisdom and savvy, Wood has been able to keep a group that doesn't have overwhelming collective talent on point through all of its somewhat sophisticated scheming and establish himself as a major cog in the top rushing attack in the NFL.

On top of that, Wood is one of the foremost leaders of the offense. He's someone is teammates respect and to whom they can turn for guidance. When things go bad -- as is often the case with the Bills -- he does more than his share to help prevent them from getting worse ... at least until the annual avalanche of problems on both sides of the ball becomes too much for anyone to stop.

Patrick Lewis might fill the spot, but he won't fill Wood's role. He won't come anywhere close to providing the level of play Wood provided.

Neither will Ryan Groy, should the Bills decide to stick with the reserve guard who was pushed into the lineup to replace Wood Monday night and was terrible.

It's also fairly safe to say the Bills aren't going to find another available center to give them what they were getting from Wood.

Another avalanche appears to be rapidly heading toward the Bills. Look out!

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