Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware is likely finished for the season after he tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Friday night's preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Trainer Rick Burkholder said Ware suffered further damage beyond the torn PCL.
"With that ligament, oftentimes with rehab you can play,'' Burkholder said. "His issue is that he also has some damage to what's called the posterior lateral corner of his knee, which is the outside back portion of his knee which is made up of ligaments and tendon. He damaged those and, at this point in time, our medical staff believes he needs season-ending surgery to correct that problem.
"Like with all these significant injuries, we'll exhaust all of our options and look at second opinions and then do what's best for Spencer's knee and his career.''
Ware led the Chiefs with 921 rushing yards last season.
"Spencer was so good at everything. Especially for a bigger guy, he could kind of do everything," quarterback Alex Smith said. "... That's a guy that put a lot of time in, a lot of reps doing all of those things for our offense. He'll definitely be tough to replace.''
Rookie Kareem Hunt will replace Ware in the starting lineup. Hunt, the Chiefs' third-round draft pick, has impressed the Chiefs with his rushing and receiving ability. The Chiefs also have veteran backs in Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller.
"I think we're going to be OK there,'' coach Andy Reid said. "Now, listen, are you going to replace Spence? No. He's a good football player. The young kid [Hunt], he'll step in and he'll do a nice job for us. Charcandrick's got reps under his belt, C.J. has reps under his belt. I don't want to take anything away from Spencer and how important he was to our team. But that's a position where we have a little strength.''