CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals said Thursday running back Ickey Woods will undergo knee surgery in a few days and will be out at least six weeks and possibly for the entire season.
Woods, who suffered a torn ligament in his left knee Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, was placed on the injured reserve list -- a move that means the fullback will be out at least six weeks.
The extent of damage to Woods's knee will not be known until surgery is performed, but if the damage is bad, 'he will be out for the season and have a long rehabilitation in front,' Bengals assistant general manager Mike Brown said.
Woods became a Cincinnati star in his rookie season last year with hard running and funny dancing. Woods rushed 1,066 yards in the regular season and 307 more in three playoff games as the Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl.
He became well known throughout the NFL for his 'Ickey Shuffle' touchdown celebration dance.
'It was a freak accident,' Woods said of his injury, which came on a clean tackle by Pittsburgh's Thomas Everett. 'But accidents happen and you have got to live on.
'Whatever it takes to come back, that's what I will have to do. I will try to get back as soon as I can.'
Cincinnati coaches said they expect to start rookie Eric Ball from UCLA in Woods' place Monday night against the Cleveland Browns.
'It's a major blow anytime you lose a 1,000-yard runner and he leaves big shoes to fill,' Brown said. 'It's a real challenge for our team to make up his loss.'
As of early Thursday, the Bengals had not yet filled Woods's roster spot.