Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that third-year veteran wide receiver Leonard Hankerson will finish his 2013 season on injured reserve.
Hankerson has played a critical role in the offense this season, catching 30 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns. He also started a career-high seven-of-10 games as the team's top Z-receiver.
Last Sunday in Philadelphia, he caught one short pass for five yards before being planted by a defender.
He was diagnosed with a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and announced on Twitter that he will have surgery to repair the ligament on Thursday.
He is expected to miss several months as he recovers and prepares for next season.
This is the second time in three years with the Redskins that Hankerson's season will end prematurely with injury. He overcame a labrum tear in his hip that ended his rookie season, following a career day six receptions and 106 yards vs. Miami.
Hankerson took to Twitter this afternoon to alert fans that the news was bad, but called the surgery only "a minor setback."
"Imma [sic] need some prayers peeps," he said. "I seem to get very emotional when I get hurt. It's no fun at all, I love being able to help my teammates."
The Redskins are expected to move him to season-ending injured reserve sometime this week and start reserve receiver Joshua Morgan in his place.
While disappointed in the news, Shanahan said the team has options to fill that role at Z receiver.
"We can play a number of people there, but Josh [Morgan] will be the starting Z receiver going into this game," he said. "I've got a lot of confidence in him. He had a good practice today.
"Obviously Santana [Moss] knows that position as well. Nick [Williams] can play both inside and outside if needed as well as Aldrick [Robinson], so we've got some guys that we can flip-flop different positions if needed."