Mark Clayton's breakout season had a breakdown ending. The Rams' leading receiver suffered a season-ending knee injury on the team's fifth offensive play of Sunday's 44-6 loss to Detroit.
When asked if the injury was season-ending, Clayton replied: "Yeah. I'm going to have to get surgery to get everything taken care of."
Clayton entered the game among the NFC leaders in receptions (22) and reception yards (300), and among the league leaders in catches of 25 yards or more (five). He caught a 6-yard pass from Sam Bradford on the Rams' first offensive play of the day — a series that resulted in a three-and-out.
On the second play of the Rams' second series, Clayton streaked down the left sideline on a deep route. Defending for Detroit was cornerback Alphonso Smith, who was penalized for illegal contact on the play. But that contact took place earlier in the play and had no bearing on the injury. The injury occurred at the end of the play when Smith's legs got tangled up with Clayton's. Clayton tumbled to the turf and didn't get up.
His right knee was placed in an air cast right there on the spot, and Clayton was carted off the field with what coach Steve Spagnuolo said was a patellar tendon injury.
"I got kicked right in the knee," Clayton said. "And as soon as he did it, (the knee) was like so hot and I couldn't move anything so it knew it was pretty serious."
Clayton spoke while on crutches in the visitors' locker room, but if his spirits were down it was difficult to detect. "Coming in here, my goal was to give them everything — and everything that I had," Clayton said. "To me, it's God's will. And in that manner, there's peace, and joy, and comfort. So I'm all right, and I know everything will work out just fine."