Derrick Gainer (American football)

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Derrick Gainer
No. 39
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1966-08-15) August 15, 1966 (age 52)
Plant City, Florida
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Plant City (FL)
College:Florida A&M
NFL Draft:1989 / Round: 8 / Pick: 205
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:34
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Derrick Luther Gainer (born August 15, 1966) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Raiders, and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Florida A&M University.

Early years[edit]

Gainer attended Plant City High School, where he received All-conference recognition as a senior running back. He accepted a football scholarship from Florida A&M University.

As a sophomore, he was lost for the season with a knee injury.[1] In his junior year, he posted 235 rushing yards. As a senior, he led the team in rushing yards (627) and the Mideastern Athletic Conference in rushing touchdowns (11).[2]

Professional career[edit]

Los Angeles Raiders[edit]

Gainer was selected by the Los Angeles Raiders in the eighth round (205th overall) of the 1989 NFL Draft. Although officially it is recorded that the Raiders waived him before the start of the season, it was actually his decision to leave the team.[3] On September 9, he was signed to the practice squad.[4] He was released on November 29.

Cleveland Browns[edit]

On December 13, 1989, he was signed by the Cleveland Browns to their practice squad.[5] The next season, he made the regular season roster and played in all 16 games as a backup fullback, while leading the team with 18 special teams tackles. His first start came against the New York Jets in place of an injured Kevin Mack, but he suffered a knee injury in the second half of the game. He was released on August 26, 1991.[6]

Los Angeles Raiders (second stint)[edit]

In February 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Raiders. On September 2, he was cut to make room for quarterback Vince Evans.[7] He was later re-signed, making the team over Napoleon McCallum, only to be released once again on September 16 to make room for linebacker Tom Benson.[8]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

On October 15, 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys to help on the special teams units.[9] On November 23, he was placed on the injured reserve list with a strained right hamstring and was re-activated on December 28.

After Curvin Richards was released for fumbling in the last regular season game against the Chicago Bears, Gainer was also used to backup Emmitt Smith during the playoff run to Super Bowl XXVII. In the playoff 34-10 win against the Philadelphia Eagles, he rushed for 29 yards and scored the last touchdown.[10] He had 2 carries for one yard in relief of Smith during the Super Bowl.

In 1993, he got the opportunity to compete with rookie Derrick Lassic for the starting running back job, while Smith was in a contract holdout. He was the fourth-string running back and appeared in 11 games. On May 10, 1994, he was traded to the Los Angeles Raiders in exchange for past considerations.[11]

Los Angeles Raiders (third stint)[edit]

Gainer was released by the Los Angeles Raiders on August 28, 1994.[12]


  1. ^ "former Plant City back has knee surgery". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  2. ^ "Famu's Riley: 'We Are A Good Team'". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Eight players are cut, including veteran running back Vance Mueller". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  4. ^ "Allen Activated". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Browns ink free agents, Gainer, Florence". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "NFL Transactions". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "Gainer Learns About NFL Job Security". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Gainer Is Trimmed From the Roster". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  9. ^ "NFL Transactions". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  10. ^ "Headliners". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  11. ^ "Team retains veteran center, loses one fullback and obtains another". Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  12. ^ "NFL Transactions". Retrieved December 7, 2015.