LOS ANGELES -- Desperate for help at cornerback after the release of Coty Sensabaugh and the recent injury suffered by Trumaine Johnson, the Los Angeles Rams claimed Dwayne Gratz off waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, as first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Gratz was a third-round pick out of Connecticut in 2013 and has compiled three interceptions, 13 pass deflections, 119 tackles and two forced fumbles in his career. The Rams waived rookie defensive lineman Morgan Fox in order to create room on the roster for Gratz.
Johnson, the Rams' No. 1 cornerback, suffered an injury to his right ankle during Sunday's 30-19 loss to the Buffalo Bills and was in a protective boot postgame. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the team was still waiting on additional testing Monday and did not have an update on Johnson's condition.
One day earlier, the Rams released Sensabaugh, who signed a three-year, $14.5 million contract over the offseason, partly because they wanted to promote Fox from the practice squad to help a defensive line that would play without three starters (Robert Quinn, Will Hayes and Michael Brockers). That left the Rams thin at corner, especially after Johnson's injury.
If Johnson misses Sunday's 10 a.m. PT game from Ford Field against the Detroit Lions -- seemingly a strong likelihood -- E.J. Gaines would be tasked with defending Marvin Jones, the NFL's leading receiver. Gaines spent all of last season recovering from foot surgery and missed the first three weeks with a thigh injury. The Rams' slot corner, Lamarcus Joyner, is playing through a broken toe. And their only other cornerback is Troy Hill, an undrafted free agent in 2015.
Gratz was at best the Jaguars' fourth cornerback and was likely No. 5 on the depth chart after being inactive on Sunday. The 26-year-old was said to not make many plays on the ball and also had issues with blown coverages. Against the San Diego Chargers in Week 2, for example, Gratz played man while the rest of the defense was in zone, which helped lead to a 44-yard touchdown.
Gratz would've probably been cut at the end of training camp if Aaron Colvin hadn't been suspended the first four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco contributed to this report.