Raiders News: Safety Johnathan Abram Out for Season with Shoulder Injury

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Johnathan Abram #24 of the Oakland Raiders looks on during the warm up before the game against the Denver Broncos at RingCentral Coliseum on September 09, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Oakland Raiders rookie safety Johnathan Abram suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum against the Denver Broncos on Monday, according to Bleacher Report's Adam Lefkoe.

Abram will have surgery this week, per Lefkoe. 

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirmed Wednesday that Abram will be heading to season-ending IR with the injury, adding that it's a "big loss," per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area.

The loss is a big blow for a Raiders defense that impressed in its 2019 debut, which resulted in a 24-16 home win over the Denver Broncos. Oakland held Denver to only six points until there was 8:39 left.

Abram did his part, amassing five tackles and one pass breakup for a secondary that shut down the Denver passing attack until the visitors mounted a fourth-quarter rally. Remarkably, the rookie accumulated those numbers despite suffering the injuries in the first quarter, per Lefkoe.

Drafted 27th overall, the 22-year-old from Columbia, Mississippi, entered the predraft process with a reputation as a hard-nosed, physical defensive back. The 22-year-old amassed 99 tackles (nine for a loss) and three sacks in just 13 games during his final year at Mississippi State.

Lance Zierlein of called him a "blunt-force striker" and "physical run defender," and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller believed he was the hardest hitter in the class of 2019.

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The Raiders landed him in the back end of the first round, hoping he would shore up a pass defense that ranked last in the league in 2018, per Football Outsiders.

Abram was well on his way toward achieving that goal, but he now likely won't see the field until 2020.

Curtis Riley figures to absorb at least some of Abram's snaps. The 27-year-old has played four NFL seasons for the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and Raiders.

The 6'0", 190-pound defensive back started all 16 games for the Giants last season, intercepting four passes and finishing third on the team with 75 tackles.

Riley and the rest of the Raiders won't have it easy when they host 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs, who ended last year as the league's No. 1 offense, are coming off a 40-point eruption against the Jacksonville Jaguars.