The Buffalo Bills have placed cornerback E.J. Gaines on injured reserve, per a report from ESPN’s Field Yates that Marcel Louis-Jacques was able to confirm. Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott had previously said that Gaines would be out “a few weeks” due to an injured groin. This news represents a worst-case scenario for the veteran corner.
Gaines, 27, is a talented corner who has not been able to stay healthy during his NFL career. After playing in 15 games (all starts) as a rookie with the St. Louis Rams in 2014, he missed the entire 2015 season due to a Lisfranc injury. This started a downward spiral in terms of injuries for his career, as he was only able to play in 11 games in 2016 (again with the Rams, who had moved to Los Angeles by then) and in 2017 after he was traded to Buffalo.
Gaines has only played in 43 games since entering the NFL in 2014, missing time with the Lisfranc injury, a thigh injury (2016), a groin injury (2017), and concussions (2018). The Bills signed him to a one-year deal in March 2019—a deal worth a total of $1,787,500.
With Gaines out, the second cornerback job will be a battle between incumbent starter Levi Wallace and veteran Kevin Johnson, a former first-round pick with an extensive injury history of his own.