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Friday, November 18, 2011
Rams one-up Seahawks on freak injuries

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The St. Louis Rams have yet to hear about an injury they could not top.

They proved it Friday when starting left tackle Rodger Saffold suffered a serious pectoral injury that could require season-ending surgery. Saffold suffered the injury during a routine weight-lifting session, the team said.

For pure freak value, that arguably tops the season-ending knee injury Seattle Seahawks right tackle James Carpenter suffered during routine pass-rush drills Thursday. Tom Cable, the Seahawks' veteran offensive line coach, said he'd never seen a player injured seriously in such a drill.

Just like that, both the Seahawks and Rams are heading into their game Sunday with barely recognizable offensive lines. The Rams have already lost eight cornerbacks -- nine, depending on one's accounting -- to injuries this season. One report Sunday said their backup running back, Cadillac Williams, suffered a calf injury while checking into the game.

Before losing Saffold, the Rams had already lost starting right tackle Jason Smith to a concussion. Removing Saffold from the equation forces Mark LeVoir into the lineup at left tackle. Adam Goldberg is filling in for Smith at right tackle. The Rams have no tackle depth at this point, in other words. They had already shaken up their personnel on the line by replacing center Jason Brown with Tony Wragge.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, will play for the first time this season without Carpenter and rookie right guard John Moffitt, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Baltimore in Week 10. They've been getting increasingly strong play from left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger, however, so their line has the edge heading into Sunday -- barring any new injuries before kickoff.