Owens decided to have knee surgery Monday, ending his revival season in Cincinnati. The 37-year-old receiver tore cartilage in his left knee two weeks ago, but kept playing. He aggravated the injury while making a cut on the opening series of the 19-17 win Sunday against Cleveland, forcing him to hobble off the field.
Owens signed a one-year deal with a $2 million base salary at the start of training camp, when the Bengals were one of the few teams interested. He proved he could still play, leading the team with 72 catches for 983 yards and nine touchdowns.
He ranked among the NFL's top six receivers in yards and catches before the game against Cleveland. He has said that he hopes to play for two or three more years.
Owens flew to Birmingham, Ala., on Monday and was examined by Dr. James Andrews. He tweeted a photo of himself in a hospital gown getting ready for the operation late Monday afternoon.
"BIG THANKS 2 every1 4 their support (and) prayers! I'll b back on the field ..." he tweeted.
Photos of him in a recovery area were posted after the surgery, along with a tweet: "had knee surgery! Will b ok."
Despite Owens' big numbers, the Bengals (3-11) are having one of their worst seasons. The victory over Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak that matched the longest in club history for one season. They finish at home against San Diego (8-6) and at Baltimore (10-4).
As the losing streak went on, Owens became more outspoken, blaming the coaching staff for the offensive struggles. Running back Cedric Benson expressed his opinion earlier in the season, then kept quiet while it all fell apart.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.