Sunday night eventually proved to be a hugely disappointing one for San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
Not only did the 25-year-old see the 49ers miss out on a place in the Superbowl with an agonising 23-17 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field, but Bowman also sustained a serious knee injury in particularly gruesome circumstances.
With under nine minutes remaining and the 49ers down by three, the former Penn State Nittany Lion stripped Jermaine Kearse of a catch in the red-zone on third-and-goal before hefty contact from teammate Eric Reid resulted in Kearse's weight falling down on Bowman's lower leg - resulting in a sickening twist of the knee that looks incredibly painful.
Bowman was helped onto a cart and off the field following the incident, with early reports suggesting that he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Watch footage of the painful sequence above - with a hat tip to USA TODAY for bringing it to our attention.
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