Raiders safety Johnathan Abram has suffered a serious shoulder injury, according to ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The torn rotator cuff combined with a torn labrum will likely a season ender, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. The Raiders are expected to place Abram on injured reserve, with no possibility of return.
The Raiders used one of their three first-round picks to select Abram this year and installed him as a starting safety alongside Karl Joseph. The rookie was lauded for his tenacity throughout the offseason and his energy will be missed by the Raiders much as his production.
Even though he suffered his injury in the first quarter, Abram stayed on the field to play in 77% of the team’s snaps against the Broncos on Monday night.
“That’s the identity we’re trying to bring back: fast, physical and aggressive,” Abram said Monday night. “You come across the middle, we’re going to get you.”
The Raiders are expected to use Curtis Riley in Joseph’s absence with some help from Erik Harris. Tafur suggests that defensive coordinator Paul Guenther could also call up old friend George Iloka, a one-time Bengals standout who remains on the free agent market. In theory, the Raiders could also move nickel corner Lamarcus Joyner back to his native safety position to fill the void.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.