We were all caught off guard Tuesday by the news that Johnathan Abram hurt his shoulder in the Raiders season opener Monday night and could be headed for injured reserve pending a second opinion. Well, he must have gotten that opinion because the rookie starting safety is now lost for the season.
“John Abram is on injured reserve,” Jon Gruden announced today. “He hurt his shoulder. Big blow to our team.”
The team will lean on the other four safeties currently on the roster and Abram will receive a “redshirt year”. And much like college football, Abram, being a first round pick, will have as many as four years remaining on his rookie contract after this season. Gruden added that Abram “is a big part of our future.”
Despite suffering the injury in the first quarter, Abram stayed in the game throughout, including every snap on the final two drives. And he finished with 5 combined tackles and a pass defended. With one bad arm and likely some pretty significant pain.
“He’s everything as advertised. He’d probably play this week if we let him,” Gruden said of Abram. “But he’s going to have surgery I think tomorrow and we’re just keeping him in our thoughts and prayers and we’re going to miss him no doubt.”
Replacing Abram in the starting lineup will either be Curtis Riley — who stepped in for him for a few snaps Monday night — or 2018 starter Erik Harris. Gruden wouldn’t say who would start alongside Karl Joseph, saying only “Everybody has a role and right now at the safety position, everybody’s role has changed a little bit.” He added that fifth safety Dallin Leavitt could see the active roster as a result.