Back from injury, former Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines is ready to regain his starting role with the Los Angeles Rams this season.
Gaines has climbed the depth chart this preseason and is firmly in the running for a starting cornerback job, according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reports that Gaines may start again as soon as Saturday's preseason game against the Denver Broncos.
Injuries hampered Gaines last season, which began with his sixth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. He spent the 2015 season on injured reserve in St. Louis due to a foot injury, and a hamstring problem also kept him out of the start of this preseason.
However, his recovery could answer one of the most nagging questions for the NFC West team. Because former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins signed with the New York Giants in the offseason, the Rams have a vacancy at cornerback that needs to be filled.
Against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Rams’ second preseason game last Saturday, Gaines played and made four tackles.
Gaines is currently listed third on the Rams' official depth chart, behind Lamarcus Joyner and Coty Sensabaugh. Trumaine Johnson is the established starter on the opposite side.
Gaines started 15 games as a rookie with the Rams in 2014. He had 70 tackles, two interceptions and 14 passes defended for the season.
In his four seasons at Missouri from 2010-13, Gaines was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2011 and a first-team All-SEC pick in 2013. The school played its first season in the SEC in 2012.
The Rams will play at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum this season after completing its move from St. Louis over the offseason.
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