Los Angeles Rams CB E.J. Gaines Returns from Injury

Aug 1, 2015; Earth City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2015; Earth City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

After being sidelined for the first three weeks of the regular season with a quad injury, E.J. Gaines is expected to make his 2016 debut against the Arizona Cardinals.

Sure it was a good win for the Los Angeles Rams last week when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a final score of 37-32 as the offense finally exploded and put up some points while the defense made plays to solidify the win.

However, not everything was ideal as it sounds.

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When the Los Angeles Rams played the Buccaneers in Week 3, the Rams defense gave up 389 passing yards while allowing opposing quarterback Jameis Winston to pass for three touchdowns. Not to mention, both Mike Evans and Adam Humphries each had 100-yard receiving games.

If the Rams want to make a playoff push this year, the secondary will have to play better, and hopefully, cornerback E.J. Gaines can provide some stability in the secondary.

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Gaines is entering his third season with the Rams after he was originally drafted out of Missouri in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. When looking at the type of impact Gaines made as a rookie that season for the Rams, it’s easy to see why the team is anxious to get him back on the football field.

As a rookie, Gaines played in 15 games for the Rams during the 2014 season and even played well enough to see PFF (Pro Football Focus) grade him out as one of the best cornerbacks in the league.

However, things took a turn for Gaines coming into the 2015 season.

During the 2015 training camp for the Rams, Gaines suffered a serious injury to his foot. A Lisfranc injury to be specific, which would sideline Gaines for the entire 2015 season.

Now, fast forward to the 2016 season, and Gaines is set to make his first regular-season start since the horrific injury, and it comes at a perfect time for Los Angeles.

We already knew that Trumaine Johnson would be the starting corner and Lamarcus Joyner would be the starting nickel. However, the other starting cornerback position opposite of Johnson remained a mystery.

Both corners Coty Sensabaugh and Troy Hill have seen their chance at the starting position, but both have performed average at best. Now that Gaines is back, hopefully his 2016 season will replicate into a 2014 season.

With Gaines being added to the starting lineup, the Rams defense should make some strives as being the elite defense that fans know of.

Play Arizona will be the ultimate test for Los Angeles as the Cardinals are deep at the wide receiver position, and in order to seal an upset win, they will need Gaines to play like he had been playing before the injury.