KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The worst fears surrounding Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines’ knee injury were realized Wednesday.
Coach Andy Reid announced Gaines tore the ACL in his left knee and will be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
“He will have surgery on that,” Reid said. “We’ll make the move here today to put him on injured reserve.”
The 6-0, 193-pound Gaines suffered the injury late in the first quarter of Week 3’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Gaines, a second-year pro, started the first three games alongside rookie Marcus Peters in the base defense, and moved to the nickel cornerback position in the nickel package.
Gaines’ injury comes as the Chiefs welcome back Sean Smith, who missed the first three games while serving a three-game suspension for a DUI.
“It’s real important to have everyone intact with Phillip going down,” safety Ron Parker said. “I think it’s good we get Sean Smith back. We lose one, but we get one back.”
Smith is expected to resume his starting role at right cornerback opposite Peters, and the Chiefs have options to consider filling the nickel position.
The candidates include cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Jamell Fleming, and the Chiefs could also utilize safety Tyvon Branch in that role or give rookie Steven Nelson, who has been inactive through three games, a look.
“We have a variety of personnel groups that we can use,” Reid said. “We’ll go through those today and look at them, and see how things work out there.”
Reid said Smith will take Gaines’ spot on the active 53-man roster.
Gaines finishes the 2015 season with six tackles (five solo).