EARTH CITY, Mo. -- One day after answering questions about the competition at cornerback between E.J. Gaines and Trumaine Johnson, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher responded to queries of a more worrisome nature.
Gaines departed Sunday evening's practice with an apparent leg injury, limping off the field early in the workout and not returning. After practice, Fisher offered as much of an update as he could without having a lot of information available.
"We don't know (yet)," Fisher said. "We're going to have to do some tests. He got stepped on, which is encouraging as opposed to the other things. So we'll do some tests. Right now, they are not too concerned. He's very sore but that typically can happen when you get stepped on."
Gaines appeared to be in quite a bit of pain as he limped off the field, at one point pulling his jersey over his head to hide his anguish. But there's no reason to jump to conclusions at this point, as the Rams will do the tests and more will be known by Tuesday at the latest.
In the meantime, Johnson got plenty of opportunities with the first team in what is a hard-to-miss role reversal from last year. It was a knee injury to Johnson that opened the door for Gaines to claim a job that he would not relinquish. Time will tell whether Johnson will get the chance or, if given the chance, be able to do the same.
Marcus Roberson also got some chances Sunday night and made the most of them. In 7-on-7 and team drills, Roberson came up with at three interceptions. He's a young player to keep an eye on as this camp and the preseason progresses.
The Rams will put the pads on for the first time Monday for a special teams workout, with the first fully-padded team practice set for Tuesday afternoon. That's probably a good thing, as Sunday's practice was extremely spirited. It included the first skirmish of camp, mostly involving the pass catchers and the secondary. It was hard to tell where the fight started but safety Rodney McLeod, safety T.J. McDonald, Johnson, tight end Jared Cook, receiver Kenny Britt and guard Jamon Brown all had some level of prominence in the mix. At one point, Brown tossed McDonald to the ground.
After it was over, the trash talking continued, as Cook and Johnson spent some time chirping at each other. Johnson reminded Cook that "pads come on in two days" and Cook responded in kind with "You say that every year. Get some new material." Britt and Stedman Bailey followed with some (mostly) good-natured taunts for McDonald.
The list of those sitting out Sunday's practice remained the same. End Chris Long (back), guard Cody Wichmann (calf), cornerback Brandon McGee and safety Mark Barron (knee) did not participate. Running back Todd Gurley (knee) remains limited to individual drills.
As expected, Demetrius Rhaney took his turn with the first-team offense at center. The Rams continue to rotate Rhaney, Tim Barnes and Barrett Jones. Fisher said after practice he doesn't have an exact date he wants to make a decision, so it appears the contest will roll on for a while.
Roberson wasn't the only corner to come up with an interception Sunday. Lamarcus Joyner bounced back after a couple of rough moments to jump an out route from Nick Foles intended for receiver Brian Quick and snare a pick. Joyner ran it back for a would-be touchdown had the play been live.
Although there were some interceptions, a few of the quarterbacks had some success, particularly in red zone drills. Case Keenum fired a nice strike down the seam to receiver Bradley Marquez and lated darted one in between defenders to tight end Alex Bayer for a touchdown. Foles and Sean Mannion had a couple of touchdown tosses as well, including a great throw from Foles to Bailey on a comeback route for a score.
The Rams will have a special teams practice Monday at 11 a.m. ET, a session which is closed to the public.