Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines will miss the 2015 season after having surgery for a Lisfranc foot injury suffered earlier this summer, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Gaines was injured when he got stepped on during practice on August 2, and while it was originally thought to be a knee ailment, it’s a foot problem that will sideline Gaines.
“It’s a tough break,” a team source told Thomas. “But the team will roll on. He’ll be 100 percent when he comes back. We’ll keep him busy and keep him occupied during his rehab.”
For a club that doesn’t have a ton of depth at the corner position, the loss of Gaines signifies a major loss. A sixth-round pick a in 2014, Gaines was inserted into the starting lineup following a preseason injury to Trumaine Johnson; Gaines continued to start even when Johnson returned. The 23-year-old Gaines went on to post 63 tackles and two interceptions in 15 contests, grading as not only the fourth-best Rams defender, but as the 29th-best cornerback in the league, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
With Gaines (as a Missouri alum, he’s a local product) out for the year, Johnson figures to reclaim his starting role opposite Janoris Jenkins. Second-year pro LaMarcus Joyner, meanwhile, will become the new slot corner. Along with safeties Rodney McLeod and T.J. McDonald, the Rams will field a secondary of players all age 26 or younger.