Johnathan Abram’s season is apparently over.
The rookie safety, one of the Raiders’ three first-round draft picks this spring, reportedly suffered a shoulder injury Monday night in Oakland’s victory over the Denver Broncos and will be put on injured reserve.
Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report wrote Tuesday that Abram tore his rotator cuff and labrum while making a first-quarter hit on the Broncos’ DaeSean Hamilton and will have surgery this week.
According to Lefkoe, Abram made the hit, felt the pain – and then was able to play the rest of the game. Abram was on the field for 77% of Oakland’s defensive snaps.
But Tuesday, medical examinations revealed the extent of the damage and the need for surgery.
It’s a big blow to the Raiders, who see Abram as a potential defensive star.
In his first NFL game, he had five tackles and a pass breakup, and he made his presence felt as a hitter and leader in the secondary throughout training camp and the exhibition season and into the regular-season opener.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden apparently was unaware of the severity of Abram’s injury Monday night after the victory, when he praised his play and impact on the Broncos’ offense.
"I think he probably got a little bit too reckless at times," said Gruden. "He made some great plays, some impact plays and certainly I think some of the tackles he’s got to make for us, he missed, but his debut was pretty good."
Even Abram didn’t seem aware of the extent of the injury after Monday’s game, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, who wrote Abram "didn’t appear in discomfort when he talked to reporters."
Curtis Riley, 27, who played Monday night and is listed as Abram’s backup on the Raiders depth chart, could start Sunday in his place when Oakland hosts the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. Riley, from Fresno State, started all 16 games in 2018 for the New York Giants at free safety.