ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders rookie safety Johnathan Abram, a first-round pick at No. 27 overall, will undergo shoulder surgery on Friday that could end his season after one game, according to ESPN and numerous reports.
The news of Abram’s injury and need for surgery was first reported by Bleacher Report.
Abram reportedly suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Raiders’ 24-16 defeat of the Denver Broncos on Monday night. Abram, who finished with five tackles and a pass defensed in playing 49 of 64 defensive snaps, was also on the field for four special teams snaps. He was not credited with a tackle in the first quarter.
For the game he was flagged twice, once for illegal contact and another for lowering the helmet to initiate contact. On the second penalty, Abram accidentally kicked teammate Gareon Conley on the top of the helmet, which ended with Conley being strapped to a stretcher and carted off the field.
After the game, Abram seemed unaffected and pain free at his locker.
“That’s the identity we’re trying to bring back – fast, physical and aggressive,” Abram said at the time. “You come across the middle, we’re going to hit you. There’s a couple plays we left out there I know I want back for sure, and I know the other guys feel the same way.”
Wednesday morning, though, Abram took to Twitter:
Abram entered the NFL with a reputation as a hard hitter.
When asked about Abram in his weekly media conference on Tuesday, Raiders coach Jon Gruden did not mention an injury when discussing his missed tackles.
“I think he probably got a little bit too reckless at times,” Gruden said of Abram. “Made some great plays, some impact plays and, certainly, I think some tackles he’s got to make for us, he missed. But his debut was pretty good. And I think tackling around the league the first week of the season was suspect on the films that I saw. A lot of these guys haven’t played much. We don’t tackle in practice, so I think it will pick up here in the next week or two.”
Lamarcus Joyner is listed as the co-starter at free safety with Abram but Joyner is generally the slot cornerback in the Raiders’ nickel defense. With Abram out, veteran Curtis Riley could step in at free safety.