The star of England’s World Cup campaign was all primed to transfer his form from France back into the Premiership – but left The Stoop on crutches on Saturday night.
Saracens swatted Harlequins aside with a six-try showing in west London, to claim the capital bragging rights.
The reigning champions lost England star Earl to knee trouble, his Red Rose colleague Elliot Daly to a mild hamstring issue – and Alex Lozowski to another knee problem.
Saracens are already down to the bare bones at lock, with Callum Hunter-Hill, Nick Isiekwe and Theo McFarland all out with medium-term issues.
And rugby director Mark McCall admitted the defending Premiership champions are already battling their injury concerns.
“Ben Earl hurt his knee in the warm-up, so we’re not sure how serious or not it’s going to be but he could be out for a while,” said McCall.
“Alex Lozowski, equally, didn’t look very good, it’s another knee injury. We’re not quite sure on both and I wouldn’t want to speculate.
“Elliot, I think it’s a very mild hamstring strain, so hopefully he won’t be away for too long.
“Callum Hunter-Hill looks quite a long one, at least a four-month injury, Nick Isiekwe won’t be back for a while, and Theo McFarland is still out.
“It means that players we want to look after and rotate to manage their minutes, we’re going to have to ask them to play a bit more than we would like.
“That was why Ben Earl was on the bench tonight rather than starting.”
Juan Martin Gonzalez, Ollie Hartley, Jamie George, Andy Christie, Tom Parton and Alex Lewington all scored as Saracens swept Quins away at The Stoop.
Andre Esterhuizen claimed a late consolation for the hosts, but Quins will struggle for any solace from a chastening night.
The west Londoners entered the weekend top of the table, but slipped all the way down to fourth with defeat to their rivals.
Saracens leapfrogged Quins into third in the process of their fourth-straight league win.
McCall’s men are already in ominously strong form again, while Quins must quickly lick their wounds before heading to Northampton on Friday night.
“I thought we stayed in it early, I thought we started all right,” said Quins rugby director Billy Millard.
“They defended really well, some of our kick-chase was poor and we gave them easy entry.
“There’s only one option now, and that’s to make it a learning, be really honest with each other and move forward.
“We’ve got a massive game next week and we’ve got to get it right.”