The Los Angeles Rams will travel to Houston to play the Texans on Sunday for a chance to move to 7-1. But they will go into this game with a few starters missing due to injury. Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and defense lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day are on the injury report and are projected to be out on Sunday.
The player projected to play the most in place of Joseph-Day is third year lineman Greg Gaines. Gaines was drafted in the fourth round of the 2019 draft out of the University of Washington.
In 2019, Gaines saw action in 10 games and recorded 13 tackles and 0.5 sacks. In 2020, he played in all 16 games and produced 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Gaines demonstrated raw strength and leverage from the start but has also shown consistent improvement when it comes to technique gaining from the teachings of Aaron Donald and former Ram Michael Brockers.
Gaines has seen his role increase steadily while seeing his season’s snap count go from 183 in his rookie year to 201 in his second year and has already recorded 181 snaps through the first seven games of this season. Sunday would be his fourth start of this year and of his career.
The Texans are 1-6 and Gaines will benefit from playing next to Aaron Donald who is sure to continue his demands for attention and double teams which will allow his fellow rushers to work one on one. If Gaines can have a good outing on Sunday, contribute to the run defense and pass rush, it will go a long way to the teams confidence in the defensive line depth.
And now for today’s links:
Week 8 injury report for 2021 NFL season (NFL.com)