BEREA, OH – With an injury epidemic sweeping the NFL this preseason, the Browns have fared pretty well in avoiding serious injuries. Their luck continued after watching CB E.J. Gaines leave Sunday’s practice on a cart with a knee injury.
Gaines was in coverage attempting to break up a pass when his knee buckled during Sunday’s session. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN though, the injury is not as serious as the Browns may have feared. Schefter reported Monday morning that an MRI revealed that Gaines suffered a knee sprain. The ailment should sideline the 26-year-old for three weeks.
MRI on Browns’ CB EJ Gaines, who was carted off with a knee injury Sunday, showed a sprain that is expected to sideline him about three weeks, per source. “Good news,” source texted. So Gaines escaped major knee injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 20, 2018
Following Sunday’s practice Browns head coach Hue Jackson admitted that losing Gaines would be a tough blow for his team. Fortunately, it wont be for the entire season. The three week timeline would put Gaines return around Week Two.
“Obviously, he was a contributing member [of the secondary], he was going to play and was slated to play,” Jackson said. “That is a part of the game. We do not want to see it. Hopefully, it is nothing major. We will find out more about it. It is football. I hate to lose him, but at the same time, we know that those things do happen.”
The Browns acquired Gaines this past March as an unrestricted free agent. He was originally drafted by the Rams in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft but was traded to Buffalo before last season as part of the deal that sent Sammy Watkins to Los Angeles. In 11 games last season, Gaines broke up 11 passes and snared one interception, as part of a Bills secondary that ranked in the top 10 in passed defensed and interceptions.
Gaines has a history of injuries throughout his short NFL career. A devastating foot injury during the 2015 preseason cost him that entire campaign. One year later, a thigh injury kept him out of five games. That injury bug followed Gaines to Buffalo as well, as an assortment of ailments forced him to also miss five games in 2017.