Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan announced Tuesday that defensive end Stephen Bowen is finished for the season, placed on injured reserve.
Bowen finishes the season with 29 tackles, three for a loss, 14 quarterback hits and two passes defensed, all leading numbers among defensive ends.
He injured the posterior collateral ligament (PCL) in his right knee, a similar injury to the one he suffered in his right knee in 2011.
Once again, Bowen was able to play through the injury while receiving treatment, until he aggravated the injury in last Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
He was held out of practice until Saturday, when he practiced in a limited fashion. He was held inactive for Monday Night's game and Shanahan made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
"With Stephen Bowen, unfortunately there was cartilage [damage]," he said. "[Surgeons] are going to go in sometime next week after Thanksgiving. They're going to take a look at it and there's a possible microfracture with it when they look at the cartilage.
"He'll be out for the remainder of the season, and if he does have a microfracture, as they think it might be, that's about a six-month recovery."
By choosing to have surgery now, Bowen should be available for team workouts in April, a consideration in the process.
"It's in his best interests for playing [in the future] that he gets it operated on," Shanahan explained. "Obviously, any time you lose a guy like Stephen, it's a blow to your football team, but everybody is going to lose players in the National Football League and it's the next guy up."
Bowen was replaced by veterans Kedric Golston and Chris Baker in Monday Night's action, with Golston getting the start.
"Stephen has meant a lot to our football team," Shanahan continued. "He does mean a lot to our football team.
"It's always hard to lose a guy not only with his play, but with his character, but other guys will get an opportunity [to step up]."