A rejuvenated Andre Carter has been a pleasant surprise since joining the New England Patriots this season, leading the team with 10 sacks. But that feel-good story appears over.
The Patriots suffered a huge blow when the veteran defensive end suffered a left knee injury on the final play of the first quarter in Sunday's 41-23 victory over the Broncos in Denver. Carter was injured while attempting to tackle Broncos running back Lance Ball, and he immediately grabbed his left knee after the play.
The Patriots announced Carter wouldn't return to the game because of a knee injury. The Boston Globe was among several outlets reporting late Sunday that Carter's injury will require surgery. The belief is Carter's injury is season-ending, according to the Globe, although it's not yet official.
The Patriots have dealt with a number of injuries to key defensive players this season -- they were missing linebacker Brandon Spikes (knee) and safety Patrick Chung (foot) against the Broncos -- and the loss of the team's most consistent pass rusher.
Broncos running back Willis McGahee also was injured in the game. He suffered a leg injury during the first quarter and later returned after halftime, but he appeared to be limited. He finished with seven rushes for 70 yards but had just two attempts after returning to the game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.