Quarterback Sam Bradford was running out of bounds when a shove sent him tumbling to the ground.
Wide receiver Reggie Wayne was wide open when he turned to catch a low throw and crumbled to the turf.
Two seemingly harmless plays turned out to be quite costly. Bradford and Wayne each tore an anterior cruciate ligament in their knees and will miss the rest of the season.
Bradford’s injury is a devastating blow to the Rams, who will turn to backup quarterback Kellen Clemens. Wayne’s injury seriously dampened the Colts’ spirit after a big 39-33 win over Peyton Manning and the previously undefeated Broncos Sunday night.
‘‘I have great respect for what he does on the field, but just as genuine concern for him as a person,’’ Clemens said of Bradford, who was hurt when he was pushed by Carolina’s Mike Mitchell late in the fourth quarter of a 30-15 loss to the Panthers.
Bradford tore his left ACL, which coach Jeff Fisher said was already in a brace. The former No. 1 overall pick had 14 TD passes and just four interceptions in his fourth season.
Clemens, who’ll be making his 13th career start in eight seasons next Monday night against the Seahawks, has been the backup the past two years and was with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer with the Jets, too, so he knows the scheme.
Wayne tore his right ACL in the fourth quarter of a victory over Denver. The soon-to-be 35-year-old wide receiver had played in 189 consecutive games. Wayne led his team with 38 catches and 503 yards this season. In 13 seasons, all with the Colts, he has 1,006 receptions, 13,506 yards, and 80 TD catches.
‘‘Looking back at it again today, there was really no one within 30 yards of him,’’ quarterback Andrew Luck said. ‘‘He probably would have scored if I actually give him a decent ball. I feel somewhat responsible for the whole thing. I think I feel sick to my stomach about it a little bit.’’
The Broncos suffered a loss, too, as cornerback Champ Bailey, who had just returned to the lineup last week after missing the first five games with a left foot injury, departed in the first half after hurting the same foot.
In Chicago, quarterback Jay Cutler will miss at least the next four weeks after tearing a muscle in his groin during a 45-41 loss to Washington. Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs will be out for around six weeks after sustaining a small fracture in his left shoulder. Neither player will need surgery.
‘‘They’re not done,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘They’re going to be back [this season].’’
The Bears are off this week, and when they come back Josh McCown will take over at QB.
Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman also left the game with a knee injury.
The Packers lost tight end Jermichael Finley to a bruised spinal cord in his neck in their 31-13 win over the Browns. Finley was taken to a local hospital and was moved out of ICU Monday. In a series of tweets, he thanked fans for their support and said he is able to walk.
Finley was carted off the field in the fourth quarter following the hit on a 10-yard catch by Cleveland safety Tashaun Gipson, who was whistled for unnecessary roughness. Coach Mike McCarthy reviewed the film and that he ‘‘didn’t think it was a dirty play.’’
Cushing: Two and out
In Houston, Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Cushing is again out for the season with a left knee injury that will require surgery. Cushing was injured in the third quarter of a 17-16 loss at Kansas City during a low block by running back Jamaal Charles.
It’s the second straight year Cushing has been lost for the season with a left knee injury. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in Week 5 last season. Still, the Texans signed Cushing to a six-year contract worth $55.6 million before this season.
Coach Gary Kubiak said injuries to left tackle Duane Brown (ankle), and running backs Arian Foster (hamstring) and Ben Tate (ribs) aren’t serious. Tate, who was injured in the third quarter but returned to finish the game, told the Associated Press that he has four broken ribs.
Kubiak also said three rookies — running back Cierre Wood, and linebackers Sam Montgomery and Willie Jefferson — were released for violating team rules. He wouldn’t specify what the players did, but did say it wasn’t just one thing. ESPN reported it was for using marijuana.
‘‘I make decisions based on a body of work in everything I do,’’ he said. ‘‘I've got five months of work invested with those three young men and I made a decision today to move forward. We've got some things we need to address as a football team.’’
Barkley in line
Fresh off an inauspicious debut, Matt Barkley could start his first NFL game for the Eagles because he’s the only healthy QB on the roster.
Filling in for the injured Nick Foles, Barkley threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 17-3 loss to Dallas. With Michael Vick still recovering from a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the last 2½ games, it’s uncertain who’ll be under center against the Giants this week.
Foles sustained a concussion when he was sacked by George Selvie and Jarius Wynn on the final play of the third quarter. Before that play, he struggled, completing just 11 of 29 for 80 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Vick’s hamstring injury is more severe than he originally thought, but it’s possible he could return this week.
Browns eye Campbell
Brandon Weeden’s job never has been more unstable after Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said he’s considering a change at quarterback and could start Jason Campbell this week against the unbeaten Chiefs.
Weeden’s second straight poor outing has Cleveland fans clamoring for a change, but Chudzinski noted there are other problems — penalties, defensive breakdowns, and dropped passes among them — to fix or the Browns (3-4) will be in danger of letting a once-promising season slip away.
Making his fourth start this season, Weeden completed just 17 of 42 passes for 149 yards with a touchdown and interception against the Packers.
Meriweather out 2
Redskins free safety Brandon Meriweather’s dangerous habit of leading with his helmet will cost him two games, the latest sanction from a league determined to make the game safer by discouraging blows to the head.
The NFL announced that the former Patriot will be suspended for this week’s game against the Broncos and the following game against the Chargers, a severe blow to a struggling defense as the Redskins try to recover from their poor start to the season.
He was flagged twice for hits on defenseless receivers in Sunday’s 45-41 win over the Bears, in the third quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Alshon Jeffery and in the fourth quarter for a helmet-first hit to the head and neck area of Brandon Marshall.
In announcing the suspension, the league cited Meriweather’s status as a repeat offender. He was fined $42,000 for a helmet-first hit on Packers running back Eddie Lacy in Week 2, forcing Lacy out of the game with a concussion.
Later in that same game, another helmet-first hit left Meriweather with a concussion, knocking him out of the game.
The suspension could leave the Redskins without their two starting safeties when they face Broncos.
Strong safety Reed Doughty suffered a concussion Sunday when the Bears attempted an onside kick.
Bucs’ Martin out
The winless Buccaneers don’t have long to dissect their latest mistake-filled loss and make corrections. Rookie quarterback Mike Glennon only has three days to prepare for Thursday night’s start against NFC South rival Carolina, and he'll likely have to try beat the Panthers without injured Doug Martin. The running back hurt his left shoulder during last weekend’s 31-23 loss to Atlanta. Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Monday that it ‘‘probably will be a stretch’’ for the second-year pro to make the short turnaround and face Carolina . . . Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury, is expected to practice Wednesday. Jackson could provide another boost for the Falcons, who managed only 18 yards rushing in their win over the Buccaneers. Jackson, 30, signed a three-year, $12 million deal with Atlanta after posting eight straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards rushing at St. Louis . . . Wide receiver Percy Harvin will return to practice for the Seahawks after missing the first seven weeks of the regular season following hip surgery . . . The Jets activated veteran quarterback David Garrard to the 53-man roster and released Brady Quinn. The 35-year-old Garrard was removed from the reserve-retired list two weeks ago and placed on the exempt list, meaning he was eligible to practice and attend meetings . . . The Dolphins acquired tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Ravens for a conditional late-round draft pick. The 34-year-old McKinnie likely will compete with right tackle Tyson Clabo, who allowed two fourth-quarter sacks in Miami’s 23-21 loss Sunday to Buffalo and has given up seven sacks this season. McKinnie started all four postseason games a year ago at left tackle for the Super Bowl champion Ravens.