Lyght questionable, Hakim probable for Seahawks game

Wednesday, September 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS--The injury report after the St. Louis Rams' opening victory wasn't quite as bad as it looked.

Defensive tackle D'Marco Farr had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair torn cartilage on Wednesday and will be out about a month. But cornerback Todd Lyght, who's questionable with turf toe, said at most he'll miss one game.

And Az-Zahir Hakim, who had an 86-yard punt return and a 72-yard touchdown catch, said a mild knee sprain wouldn't keep him out of Sunday's game at Seattle. Neither player practiced Wednesday.

Lyght, a Pro Bowl player last year who has made 97 consecutive starts, was injured in the third quarter of the Rams' 41-36 victory over the Denver Broncos. He re-entered the game after taking some painkillers, and has been fitted for custom orthopedics to help his right big toe heal.

"It's pretty swollen," Lyght said. "They're very painful injuries, especially in a position where you do a lot of running. Hopefully it'll allow me to play."

Lyght is the senior Rams player, having joined the team as a first-round draft pick in 1991, and has made a team-high 97 consecutive starts

"Sure, it means something to me," Lyght said. "But not to where it would be detrimental to the team."

If Lyght can't go, second-year player Dre' Bly would play right cornerback and Dexter McCleon would move to the left side to take over Lyght's spot.

"I don't want to go out there and tear up my toe in Week 2 and have that jeopardize the season down the road," Lyght said. "If I have to rest it in order to play better down the road, that's what I'll do."

Bly, a second-round pick last year, has never started. And he doesn't think he'll start this week, either.

"Being the warrior he is, I'm expecting Todd to play," Bly said. "It's nothing but a turf toe."

McCleon wasn't so sure. He figured Lyght would not play.

"I don't think so, not with turf toe," McCleon said. "Our position is the hardest position to play because you do so much running and cutting."

McCleon said he'd have no problem moving to left cornerback because he played there early in training camp while Lyght was holding out for a new contract.

"It'll take me a couple days to get back used to it," he said.

An MRI Tuesday showed no major damage to Hakim's knee. He didn't expect any because he didn't know how he hurt the knee in the first place.

"I have no idea," Hakim said. "I woke up and I could barely walk. They said I strained it a little bit. I'm going to be all right, it's nothing major."

Teammates were still a bit shocked about Farr's injury, which elevated Jeff Zgonina to starter at tackle.

"I don't think he realized how bad it was," backup defensive lineman Nat Hobgood-Chittick said. "He was walking around fine after the game and we were talking about getting a bite to eat. It's really unfortunate."