For the first 2½ months of the regular season, offensive lineman Kevin Hughes quietly toiled on the Rams' practice squad. Every day, he helped run the plays of the opposing team's offense, preparing the defense for that week's game.
That all changed Friday morning when starting left tackle Rodger Saffold suffered a torn pectoral muscle lifting weights. Hughes, an undrafted rookie from Southeast Louisiana, was promoted to the active roster Saturday.
And before the end of the first half Sunday against Seattle, Hughes found himself on the field at left tackle against the Seahawks' best pass-rusher, defensive end Chris Clemons. Hughes was pressed into service when Saffold's replacement, Mark LeVoir, suffered a pectoral muscle injury in the second quarter.
When LeVoir went down, Hughes said, "I just started praying and everything like that. I was expecting nothing and ready for everything."
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It was a near-impossible situation for Hughes, who gave up at least two of Clemons' three sacks.
"I'm proud of the kid coming in and doing a fairly decent job," left guard Jacob Bell said. "Some of the plays that he got beat on, looking back maybe I could have helped him."
Usually, however, left tackles get help from the tight end or a running back over on the edge.
"We tried," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "There were a couple chips in there and the tight end over him."
But just a couple.
"(The game) was fast," Hughes said. "It was what I thought it was. I have a lot to work on. Pass sets. I'll just get in there and go over the film and see what Coach has to correct me on."
Despite suffering an ankle injury Thursday and missing practice Friday, cornerback Justin King started Sunday. Although it looked as if King was beaten on Sidney Rice's 14-yard touchdown catch on a slant route in the second quarter, King said he was in zone coverage on the play and was supposed to have safety help inside. King was flagged for pass interference just before halftime, leading to a Seattle field goal and a 10-7 Seahawks lead.
King took a shot of painkiller before the game and was in pain after the Rams' 24-7 loss.
"Throughout the course of the game, it started throbbing a little bit. ... But it didn't have anything to do with any aspect of my performance today," King said.
LeVoir will have an MRI exam today for his pectoral injury. So will cornerback Marquis Johnson for a rib injury. Linebacker Josh Hull re-aggravated a hamstring injury in the first quarter - an injury that kept him out of last week's Cleveland game - and did not return.
Wide receiver Austin Pettis suffered a knee injury and was in and out of the game. Defensive end Chris Long tweaked an ankle but kept playing. Justin Bannan tweaked a shoulder. Tight end Lance Kendricks suffered a blow to the head on a fourth-quarter reception.
"This list keeps going," Spagnuolo said. "I'm not sure why. Unexplainable."
Rams inactives were WR Danario Alexander (hamstring), RB Cadillac Williams (calf), RT Jason Smith (neck, concussion), CB Nate Ness, LB Justin Cole, LB Ben Leber and DT Darell Scott. ... With Sunday's loss, the Rams were eliminated from NFC West title contention.