The Browns secondary almost suffered a blow during Sunday’s practice but it looks like it won’t be a major hit.
Cornerback E.J. Gaines went down with a knee injury while breaking up a pass that was intended for wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Gaines had to be carted off the field and head coach Hue Jackson didn’t know the details of the injury when he talked to the media post-practice.
On Monday morning, ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that Gaines escaped a major knee injury and suffered a sprain that will sideline him for three weeks.
Gaines was listed as a backup to rookie cornerback Denzel Ward on the team’s depth chart but was still competing for a starting role opposite Ward with Terrance Mitchell and T.J. Carrie. He played in 29 snaps in Friday’s preseason game against Buffalo on defense and special teams.
He was one of the many free agent signings the Browns made during the offseason along with Mitchell and Carrie to upgrade the secondary that was one of the worst in the NFL last season.
Thankfully though the injury wasn’t major and Gaines should be ready by Week 2 although if things go well he could be back for the regular season opener against Pittsburgh.
His snaps could go to guys trying to make the roster like Denzel Rice, Jeremiah McKinnon and rookie Simeon Thomas or they could give the snaps to Briean Boddy-Calhoun who has been playing both at corner as well as free safety.
The team has expressed interest in free agent corner Bashaud Breeland and also had Adam “Pac-Man” Jones in for a work out a few weeks ago. I’m not sure they would look to bring in another corner with Gaines only being out a few weeks but behind the top four cornerbacks, depth could be an issue at the position for Cleveland.