Cartilage damage sidelines Stephen Bowen for season

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Stephen Bowen will miss the remainder of the season after an examination revealed the lingering soreness in his right knee is the result of damaged cartilage around the bone.

Bowen, the Washington Redskins’ starting right defensive end, originally tore the PCL in his right knee in a victory over the Chicago Bears on Oct. 20. The pain in the knee caused him to begin missing portions of practice in the week leading up to a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 17, and after missing two whole practices last week, he was inactive for Monday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Coach Mike Shanahan said Bowen will have the knee further examined next week to see if microfracture surgery is an option. That procedure, which requires at least a six-month recovery, entails making small cracks in the cartilage to help stimulate growth in the affected area.

“He’s had a lot of fluid [in the knee] for a few days and they think, in his best interests for playing, that he gets it operated on,” Shanahan said.

Bowen, 29, signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract before the 2011 season, but that contract was restructured before the season to give the Redskins additional room against the salary cap. He had 16 tackles in 10 games this season and had 25 tackles with a sack last season, but was most productive in 2011, when he had 41 tackles with six sacks.

Kedric Golston, who replaced Bowen on Monday, is in line to proceed as Bowen’s replacement. Bowen’s loss further depletes a defensive line that is already without Adam Carriker, a defensive end who tore his right quadriceps tendon early last season and has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since the start of training camp.

UPDATED (7:26 p.m.): The Redskins placed Bowen on injured reserve on Tuesday and waived cornerback Jerome Murphy, who had played in all 11 games on special teams but did not play a snap on defense. They signed wide receiver Josh Bellamy off their practice squad, which he joined a week ago, to replace Murphy, and signed cornerback Peyton Thompson to the practice squad.

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