For the time being, Roberto Perez will fill in as the starter behind the plate for the Tribe.
"Losing Gomes, man, that can be a season killer," Francona said. "But Perez can handle this. He's strong enough to catch every day."
An MRI exam confirmed that Gomes sustained a moderate sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) during Saturday's 9-6 loss to the Tigers.
In the ninth inning, Gomes sustained what Cleveland initially described as a sprained right knee. The catcher had his right foot planted on the plate on a force play and Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis slid into Gomes' foot on the play. Gomes had to be helped off the field by two members of Cleveland's medical staff.
For Sunday's game, first baseman Carlos Santana doubled as the Tribe's backup catcher. Francona noted that Santana, who was Cleveland's primary catcher from 2011-12, volunteered to be the reserve option but the manager indicated that Brett Hayes will join the team on Tuesday to be the backup catcher going forward.
The Indians will need to make a 40-man roster move into order to add Hayes to the mix.
"Brett Hayes will be here," Francona said. "For today, for a number of reasons, having Carlos saves us a roster spot where we could add two pitchers. Just with the state of what's happened the last two days, I think we felt more comfortable getting two arms here."
Along those lines, the Indians recalled right-hander Austin Adams and selected the contract of righty Shaun Marcum from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday. In order to clear room on the active roster for Adams, the Indians optioned lefty Kyle Crockett to Triple-A. Cleveland released Minor League pitcher Charles Brewer to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Marcum's arrival.
Francona said Crockett was the odd man out strictly because he has Minor League options.
"We got in a little bit of a bind," Francona said. "We can send him down and our plans are not to have him pitch in Triple-A. When he comes back, you can't ever make promises that you don't know, but we don't want him to be a Triple-A pitcher. We want him to help us win Major League games."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.