TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu tore his right ACL in Sunday night's win over the Philadelphia Eagles and will miss the rest of the season, coach Bruce Arians announced Monday.
The injury occurred when Mathieu intercepted Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford with 2:37 left in the fourth quarter. Mathieu initially felt "very relieved" Sunday because he was able to walk "fine," Arians said.
An MRI late Monday morning revealed the ACL tear.
Thank you all for your prayers. The boy will be back to claim what's his. To my teammates, I will be with you!! pic.twitter.com/EAfvCN5ZMi— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) December 22, 2015
Arians said Mathieu likely will wait a couple of weeks before having surgery to allow the swelling to subside. Arians said Mathieu would then have the procedure "as soon as possible so we get him back as soon as possible."
"He'll be fine," said Arians, who was with Mathieu when he heard his ACL was torn. "He'll bounce back, and he'll be ready for next year."
Arians was visibly upset when announcing the injury, stopping twice during his eight-minute news conference to collect himself. The coach has said publicly that Mathieu was his favorite player on the roster, and Arians' emotions Monday showed that Mathieu's injury affected him.
"We have a little different bond," Arians said. "Just because where he came from, where I came from, and I've just gotten real attached to him. I love the player, but I love the person more."
It is Mathieu's second major knee injury of his professional career. He tore his left ACL and LCL on Dec. 8, 2013, against the St. Louis Rams on a free-kick return. He returned for the following season but didn't work his way back into the rotation until Week 5.
With two games left in this season, Mathieu set career highs with 89 tackles, five interceptions and one interception returned for a touchdown.
"He set goals and he was attaining them," Arians said. "I thought he should be right there with [cornerback] Patrick [Peterson] for defensive player of the year. I don't think there was any doubt that he was having that type of season. It's a shame with two games left, and it's always a non-contact injury when these things happen."