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Rams Roster Preview: E.J. Gaines Looks to Build on Outstanding Rookie Season

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Gaines never relinquished his starting role after stepping in for Trumaine Johnson. He heads into 2015 in a fierce battle to retain his starting status.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This time last year, E.J. Gaines was fighting for his NFL career. But a strong camp - paired with injuries - solidified his standing on the roster. When Trumaine Johnson went down with an MCL injury in the horrific preseason game against the Browns.

Rams fans got a scare at yesterday's practice when Gaines went down with an injury. While the injury doesn't appear to be serious, it's a bit ironic that Gaines is now in the shoes that Tru was in last season - hoping an injury doesn't cost him his spot as a starter.

Roster Battle

With Janoris Jenkins seemingly entrenched at one starter spot, Gaines is left competing with Johnson for the next spot on the depth chart. Even if Gaines misses some time during camp to this injury, it's hard to see him dropping any lower than 3rd on the pecking order.

Expectations

Avoid a sophomore slump. Gaines plays with a chip on his shoulder at all times - which suits him well. Coming back from injury will only give him further motivation to prove himself. Given he's 100% - he is an essential cog on a defense that looks poised to finally break out. The Rams need him to play well.

Chances of Making Final Roster (10/10)

If he's able to play like he did last season, Gaines is an amazing asset to this team. He gives the Rams 3 starting caliber CBs, which is a necessity in today's pass happy NFL. He's going to be on the roster.