Rams lose injured cornerback E.J. Gaines for 2015


News broke Sunday that the St. Louis Rams would be without recently injured cornerback E.J. Gaines for all of 2015 due to a foot injury suffered in training camp. This is an unexpected blow to the Rams secondary as they expected Gaines to return to form and place a from grip on the second starting corner spot. It appears now that Trumaine Johnson will fill that void.

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Gaines was injured early in training camp when he and wide receiver Kenny Britt became tangled on a play and Britt landed on Gaines foot. Initially, it appeared the injury was not serious and that Gaines would miss minimal time. However, further testing revealed a Lisfranc injury which required surgery. St. Louis held pat that Gaines was still undergoing testing as recently as Saturday night.

Gaines was in line to return to his starting cornerback role that he earned in 2014 with a solid rookie season. Gaines totaled 70 tackles and added two interceptions as a starter in 15 games. He also added eight passes defended.

Nov 30, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) carries the ball after intercepting a pass during the first half against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis defeated Oakland 52-0. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson will now become the favorite to win the second outside starting spot. This leaves LaMarcus Joyner to cover the slot in the nickel package, and Marcus Roberson for depth.

Johnson had a solid game in the Rams preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders over the weekend. He posted two tackles, two passes defended and one very timely interception in the end zone in his abbreviated appearance. Postgame, Johnson said he was now feeling 100%, better than he has in recent years, and looks forward to the joint sessions with the Dallas Cowboys.

St. Louis isn’t up the creek yet, but the loss certainly hurts. Gaines was a very solid corner for them last year, and Johnson, now heading into his fourth year, has been shaky at times. With Roberson, Joyner and now undrafted Imoan Claiborne coming out of the wood work, the position is becoming a little crowded. Competition breeds excellence and hopefully the Rams can move forward without skipping a beat.