Raiders’ budding star Johnathon Abram likely lost for season – SF Gate

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Raiders’ budding star Johnathon Abram likely lost for season – SF Gate


By Mike Moffitt, SFGATE

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  • Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is brought down by Oakland Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. At left is Raiders outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is brought down by Oakland Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. At left is Raiders outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)less

    Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is brought down by Oakland Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. At… more

    Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press

Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is brought down by Oakland Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. At left is Raiders outside linebacker Tahir Whitehead. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)less

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton is brought down by Oakland Raiders defensive back Johnathan Abram (24) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. At… more

Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press

Johnathon Abram, the hard-hitting Oakland Raiders’ rookie safety who was already being compared to the great Charles Woodson, may be lost for the season.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Abram was expected to be placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury that requires surgery. Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report reported Abram suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum in Monday night’s game.

IR automatically shelves a player for eight weeks, but it will likely take Abram much longer to recover from a shoulder operation. Odds are he won’t return to the field until next season.

The loss of Abram is a major setback for the Raiders, who had one of the NFL’s most porous defenses last season. The Raiders first-round draft pick was impressive during the preseason and had a solid debut Monday against the Broncos. He had five tackles and one pass defended.

During one play, Abram ran into teammate Gareon Conley while they were trying to tackle Denver running back Royce Freeman. Conley injured his neck and left the game, but he tweeted Tuesday that he’s “good to go.”

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“I think he (Abram) probably got a little bit too reckless at times,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden told reporters after Monday’s win. “Made some great plays, some impact plays … I think some tackles he’s gotta make for us – he missed. His debut was pretty good.”

Abram was featured in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” and drew some measured criticism from his coach for hitting teammates when they weren’t wearing pads.

“He even hit some coaches the other day by accident,” Gruden said on the show. “But he loves to play and if we had three-a-days like we used to, he’d be first in line for all of those.”

Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: moffitt@sfgate.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.

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