The St. Louis Rams' chances for a turnaround season took a major hit when quarterback Trent Green tore both ligaments in his left knee last night, knocking him out for the year.
The injury soured a perfect passing game and the Rams' 24-21 exhibition victory over visiting San Diego.
Az Hakim returned punts 89 and 80 yards for touchdowns as the Rams (1-2) kept the Chargers (0-3) winless in the preseason.
Green, who completed all 11 passes for 166 yards and a 52-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce, was injured on a blow to the back of the knee by Pro Bowl safety Rodney Harrison with 1 minute 31 seconds to go in the first half. He tore the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments and also suffered cartilage damage.
Major surgery will be scheduled after the swelling goes down.
Green, 29, signed a four-year, $16.5 million free agent deal with the Rams after a breakthrough year with the Washington Redskins in his first year as a starter. He threw 23 touchdown passes and 3,441 yards in 14 starts last year, and led Washington to a 6-3 finish.
In the preseason, he was 28 of 32 for 406 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Harrison beat a block by running back Marshall Faulk on the third-down play, and lunged into Green's knee just after the ball had been released.
"If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't be out there," said Harrison, a former teammate of Green's in San Diego. "I wouldn't even blitz. I feel terrible about Trent."
The Rams' backup quarterback is Kurt Warner, who has played in one game as a reserve, a mop-up role in the season finale last year at San Francisco.
* DOLPHINS 31, LIONS 10: Tony Martin caught a touchdown pass but Cecil Collins severely sprained his right ankle in Miami's victory over visiting Detroit.
Martin, who had five receptions for 67 yards, caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Dan Marino, one of just three scores by the first-team offense in 17 preseason possessions.
It was Martin's first game since he was acquitted of laundering drug money by a federal jury on Thursday.
Collins, who had been challenging for the starting job, will be sidelined at least a few weeks, Coach Jimmy Johnson said. There may be a slight fracture in the ankle, Johnson said, and Collins will undergo further examination today.
* JETS 16, GIANTS 10: The Jets won more than the preseason bragging rights for New York in beating the Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. Jets Coach Bill Parcells finally may have found a backup quarterback with his surprising decision to use Ray Lucas for the opening possession before turning things over to Vinny Testaverde and halfback Curtis Martin, who rushed for 127 yards on seven carries.
* BILLS 30, BENGALS 3: Doug Flutie scrambled 25 yards to sustain a late first-half drive, then threw a 22-yard touchdown pass as the visiting Bills (2-1) pulled away to the win over struggling Cincinnati (0-3). Flutie completed 11 of 23 passes for 123 yards without an interception.
* BROWNS 35, BEARS 24: Rookie quarterback Tim Couch watched Ty Detmer from the sideline in the first half then rallied Cleveland to its first victory in the Browns' new stadium. Couch, using mostly short passes, led Cleveland to 13 straight points in the second half. Showing why the expansion Browns (2-2) made him the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, Couch completed 10 of 14 passes for 128 yards.
Browns middle linebacker Chris Spielman, who underwent neck fusion surgery in 1997, suffered a neck stinger in the first quarter and was taken to a hospital for an MRI exam.
* BUCCANEERS 45, PATRIOTS 14: Mike Alstott scored three touchdowns on short runs, and Warrick Dunn returned to Tampa Bay's lineup as the Buccaneers routed visiting New England. Dunn had been sidelined most of training camp with tendinitis in his right knee and a sore left hamstring.
* SEAHAWKS 41, CARDINALS 7: Jon Kitna threw a touchdown pass, and Ahman Green had a touchdown run in the first half as Seattle gave new coach Mike Holmgren his first victory in Seattle, a win over Arizona. Kitna, the Seahawks' starting quarterback, was 12 of 23 for 147 yards.
* PACKERS 38, SAINTS 17: Brett Favre threw two touchdowns, including a five-yarder to Antonio Freeman after LeRoy Butler's 68-yard fumble return, as Green Bay downed host New Orleans. A helmet blow to Saints quarterback Billy Joe Hobert's right side cracked a rib, sending him to the sideline late in the first half.