The Atlanta Falcons' fears were confirmed on Wednesday when a second medical opinion found star wide receiver Julio Jones' foot injury will cause him to miss the remainder of the season.
Coach Mike Smith said Jones will have surgery on Monday, but the Falcons still did not release details of the injury.
Jones, the NFL's leading receiver, injured his right foot in Monday night's 30-28 loss to the New York Jets.
Smith had said Tuesday the first reports were not encouraging. Jones wanted a second opinion and was examined Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., by foot specialist Robert Anderson.
"Unfortunately, Julio's appointment with the doctor today confirmed our initial findings," Smith said in a statement released by the team.
Anderson repaired a broken bone in Jones' right foot before his 2011 rookie season.
The loss of Jones is a devastating blow to the Falcons, who are 1-4 and entering their bye week. Roddy White, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver, hurt his hamstring in the loss to the Jets and missed Wednesday's practice.
Smith said White, who already was slowed by an ankle sprain, also will miss Thursday's practice.
Bears try to end skid vs. winless Giants
On the surface, this would seem like an easy one for the Chicago Bears. They're trying to get back to winning against a team that hasn't won a game all season.
The problem is the New York Giants (0-5) are no strangers to victories no matter what their record says, so the Bears (3-2) aren't exactly breathing easy heading into Thursday night's game at Soldier Field.
They see a perennial contender, a quarterback in Eli Manning with two championship rings, and signs of danger even if there's a big zero in the win column.
"When you look at their personnel, they've got playmakers all over the field," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "They've got a future Hall of Fame quarterback that's got a couple of Super Bowls. ... They have firepower."
They also have one of the league's worst defenses, a running game that ranks at the bottom and is injured, an offense that leads the league with 20 turnovers, and a quarterback with more interceptions (12) than anyone else.
Around the league
Texans • Coach Gary Kubiak said struggling Matt Schaub would start at quarterback on Sunday against St. Louis, but added that staying with him wasn't an easy choice. Schaub has had a terrible three weeks. He has thrown six interceptions three of them returned for touchdowns and the Texans have dropped three straight.
49ers • Linebacker Aldon Smith was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a party at his home in June 2012. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office said Smith is expected to surrender on his own later this month.
Seahawks • Starting middle linebacker and former Utah State standout Bobby Wagner will likely be a game-time decision because of a high ankle sprain suffered last week against Indianapolis.
Broncos • Champ Bailey was a full participant at practice Wednesday for the first time since he injured his left foot in a preseason game at Seattle on Aug. 17. The cornerback hopes to make his 2013 debut Sunday when the Broncos host the Jaguars.
Packers • Coach Mike McCarthy says Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews will miss at least a couple weeks with a thumb injury. McCarthy said Matthews may have to play with a cast when he returns.
Week 6 schedule
N.Y. Giants at Chicago, 6:25 p.m., NFL Network
Carolina at Minnesota, 11 a.m.
Oakland at Kansas City, 11 a.m.
St. Louis at Houston, 11 a.m.
Green Bay at Baltimore, 11 a.m., Ch. 13
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 11 a.m.
Pittsburgh at N.Y. Jets, 11 a.m.
Cincinnati at Buffalo, 11 a.m.
Detroit at Cleveland, 11 a.m.
Tennessee at Seattle, 2:05 p.m.
Jacksonville at Denver, 2:05 p.m., Ch. 2
Arizona at San Francisco, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 13
New Orleans at New England, 2:25 p.m.
Washington at Dallas, 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5
Open: Atlanta, Miami
Indianapolis at San Diego, 6:40 p.m., ESPN