St. Louis Rams Coach Mike Martz will miss the rest of the season with a bacterial infection of a heart valve that has already sidelined him for two games.

"This is very difficult for me to do," Martz said at a news conference yesterday. "But I know it's the right thing to do."

Martz, who has one year remaining on his contract, expects to be back next season. He's 56-37 in his sixth season with the team, taking them to one Super Bowl and serving as offensive coordinator for the franchise's only championship after the 1999 season.

Joe Vitt will continue as head coach for the rest of the year for the Rams (3-4), who will be home Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Vitt is the assistant head coach and linebackers coach and won his first game Sunday, 28-17 over the New Orleans Saints.

* PACKERS: Running back Ahman Green is out for the season with a torn thigh tendon, the latest in a string of severe injuries to befall Green Bay.

Coach Mike Sherman said that Green will undergo surgery this week to repair his right thigh tendon, which was torn in the fourth quarter of the Packers' 23-20 loss at Minnesota on Sunday.

Sherman also said wide receiver Robert Ferguson will miss up to a month with a torn lateral cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he injured in the first quarter Sunday.

* COWBOYS: Dallas waived place kicker Jose Cortez, one day after he missed a 29-yard field goal in a 13-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Cowboys signed rookie Shaun Suisham to take his place.

* CHARGERS: Left tackle Roman Oben (Gonzaga) agreed to a two-year contract through the 2008 season.

Oben, in his second season with San Diego, has started all 24 regular season and postseason games since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on June 9, 2004, in exchange for a fifth-round draft choice.

* BROWNS: Cornerback Gary Baxter will miss the final 10 games of the season after he tore a chest muscle during Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions, an injury that typically requires six to eight months of rehabilitation.

* SEAHAWKS: Safety Ken Hamlin has been released from the hospital, one week after he was severely beaten outside a nightclub.

Hamlin suffered a fractured skull, a blood clot on the brain and a fractured hand in the fight Oct. 17. He was released from Harborview Medical Center over the weekend, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson said. She declined to provide additional details.