Who can forget NaVorro Bowman's gruesome injury in the NFC Championship Game? Bowman, who played a key role in the 49ers defense, tore his ACL and MCL on a goal-line stand. The four-year linebacker underwent surgery in early February.
Getty ImagesJonathan Ferrey
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
Gronkowski's season didn't start until late October, while he was recovering from forearm and back surgeries. The Patriots tight end suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during a game against the Browns in early December. Gronkowski's agent Drew Rosenhaus said in early January that the tight end's surgery "went well."
Getty ImagesJim Rogash
Reggie Wayne, Colts
No other injury this season dramatically affected the look of an offense more than Reggie Wayne's torn ACL. The veteran wide receiver had surgery in mid-October and began his rehab short after. The Colts could use his assistance in offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton's passing game.
Getty ImagesSam Greenwood
Von Miller, Broncos
Von Miller's four-game suspension allowed him extra time to work out and pack muscle onto his frame. It was all for naught once the Broncos linebacker tore his ACL in December against the Texans
Getty ImagesDoug Pensinger
Geno Atkins, Bengals
The Bengals gave defensive tackle Geno Atkins a large extension last September in hopes he would continue to dominate the opposition. Nearly two months later, Atkins sustained a torn ACL, which sidelined him for the season. How will the 6-foot-1, 303-pounder recover from ACL surgery?
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
Jerod Mayo, Patriots
The Patriots veteran linebacker tore his pectoral muscle in mid-October and was immediately placed on the team's injured reserve list. Mayo's injury was one of countless injuries that devastated New England's defense.
Getty ImagesJohn Grieshop
Jake Locker, Titans
The Titans' decision to hire a new coaching staff puts Locker's future in Tennessee in doubt. Locker, who is entering the final year in his rookie deal, must show that he is durable enough to play in a 16-game NFL season after sustaining a Lisfranc injury, which landed him on the IR.
Getty ImagesFrederick Breedon
Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
The Steelers lost the leader of their offensive line once Maurkice Pouncey tore his ACL. The fifth-year center should make a full recovery after undergoing surgery in in early September.
Getty ImagesJustin K. Aller
Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals
The LSU product had his name in the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation until he tore his ACL in early December against the Rams. Mathieu underwent surgery days after the injury occurred and is expected to be ready by next season.
Getty ImagesChristian Petersen
Jermichael Finley, Packers
The scare of the season came when Packers tight end Jermichael Finley was stretchered off of Lambeau Field. Finley immediately underwent spinal fusion surgery, while some questioned if he'd ever play again. Finley, who is set to become a free agent this offseason, has been making steady progress and should be cleared to play in the near future.