Derrick Gainer (American football)

For the boxer, see Derrick Gainer.
Derrick Gainer
No. 27, 39
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1966-08-15) August 15, 1966
Place of birth: 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 in Plant City, Florida) is a former American football fullback in the National Football League for the Cleveland Browns (1990), the Los Angeles Raiders (1992), and the Dallas Cowboys (1992–1993). He played college football at Florida A&M University.

Early years

Gainer attended Plant City High School, before moving on to Florida A&M University, where he played as a running back. 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 and the Mideastern Athletic Conference in rushing touchdowns (11).[2]

Professional career

Los Angeles Raiders

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

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 fullback. He was released on August 26, 1991.[6]

Los Angeles Raiders (second stint)

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

On October 15, 1992, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys to help on the special teams units.[9]

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 competed with rookie Derrick Lassic for the starting running back job, while Smith was in a contract holdout. On May 10, 1994, he was traded to the Los Angeles Raiders in exchange for past considerations.[11]

Los Angeles Raiders (third stint)

Gainer was released 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.
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