Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines will see his 2015 season end early, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star, who reports (via Twitter) that Gaines has suffered a torn ACL. Kansas City will place the second-year defensive back on season-ending injured reserve.
Gaines, 24, was selected with the 87th overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Chiefs, and while he didn’t have a huge role on the defense in his rookie year, he had been starting in the early going this season, as Sean Smith served a three-game suspension. Through three games, only Marcus Peters has played more than Gaines’ 169 defensive snaps, among Chiefs cornerbacks.
With Gaines headed to IR, it clears a path for Smith to return to Kansas City’s 53-man roster. The team has a roster exemption for the returning cornerback and doesn’t have to officially place him on the active roster until later this week, but it would make sense as a corresponding move for Gaines.
After this season, Gaines will still have two years left on his rookie contract, so he figures to play a role for the Chiefs going forward.