Strong safety Matt Bowen will be sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, team officials said. Bowen was officially placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Bowen suffered the injury in the first quarter of Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Bowen ran down on punt coverage and his knee buckled when he tried to make a cut.
It is expected that Bowen will have surgery to repair the injury.
Bowen called it a "freak injury" because it occurred during non-contact.
"I'm disappointed," Bowen said at Redskins Park on Monday. "I'll just have to take it day to day and work hard on getting better. That's all I can do."
Added head coach Joe Gibbs: "He played extremely well for us."
With Bowen out, the Redskins still have four safeties on the roster in Sean Taylor, Andre Lott, Todd Franz and Ryan Clark.
Lott was deactivated for Sunday's game due to a lingering hamstring injury. Team officials said his injury appears to be improving and he could play against Chicago this Sunday.
Clark had a mild ankle sprain from the Baltimore game. He is expected to be ready for next Sunday against Chicago.
Bowen's 2004 season started promisingly in the Redskins' 16-10 season-opening win over Tampa Bay.
Bowen's biggest play of the game came when the Buccaneers faced third-and-15 from their own 34-yard line, trailing 13-10 with 5:37 remaining. Tampa Bay desperately needed a first down to avoid punting the ball back to the Redskins' offense.
Assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams instructed his defense to attack rather than drop into pass coverage. From the safety position, Bowen blitzed unimpeded through the center of Tampa Bay's offensive line. He threw Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson to the ground for a nine-yard loss long before he could get off a pass.
The four-year NFL veteran also made a crucial sack in the first quarter. He forced Johnson to fumble on the play and the Redskins recovered, setting up a field goal that made the score 10-0 early in the second quarter.
Bowen ran up from his safety spot and blitzed around the left side of the line. He reached Johnson and stripped the ball loose as he pummeled the Bucs' quarterback. Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin recovered at the Tampa Bay 34-yard line.
"It's not good enough just to get a sack," Bowen said after that game. "You need to get the ball out. When you get an opportunity, you've got to get the ball out."
Now in his second year with Washington after signing as a restricted free agent in March 2003, Bowen was a second-team All-American at Iowa in 1999 and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. In November of the following year he joined the Green Bay Packers.
Bowen became a reliable contributor in his first season with the Redskins. He started all 16 games last season and made 94 tackles (73 solo). He also had three interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.