Tyrann Mathieu out for the season with knee injury

An injured Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu (32) leaves the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz.  The Cardinals defeated the Rams 30-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Show caption
An injured Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu (32) leaves the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 30-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona coach Bruce Arians has confirmed that Mathieu tore an ACL and sustained further damage in his left knee and will undergo surgery.

Mathieu, who earned the nickname "Honey Badger" in his days at LSU, was Arizona's starting safety and had been in on almost every defensive play for the Cardinals.

He was injured returning a free kick after John Abraham had tackled Kellen Clemens in the end zone in the third quarter of Arizona's 30-10 victory over St. Louis on Sunday.

Mathieu was buried in a pile of tacklers. He tried to jog off the field but his knee buckled and he collapsed. Mathieu blew a kiss to the crowd as he was carted off.