In a surprise, Raiders rookie safety Johnathan Abram will undergo shoulder surgery and will be placed on injured reserve which means he is lost to the season.
Reports indicate Abram probably played with a torn rotator cuff and labrum in at least some of the season-opening victory over Denver.
Abram, the No. 27 overall pick in the draft, apparently sustained the injury in the first quarter and played 49 snaps (77 percent) and finished with five tackles and a pass broken up.
This is a major hit on the young Raider defense that looked faster and ferocious with Abram showing up on most plays. He most represented the addition of speed and toughness to a defense that was last in the league last year, then kept Denver out of the end zone until 2:15 left in the game. .
“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.”
Coach Jon Gruden made statement about Abram after the game and before the injury was known.
“I think he probably got a little too reckless at times,” Gruden said. “Made some great plays, some impact plays, certainly, I think some tackles he’s got to make for us he missed. But his debut was pretty good.”
Abram's replacement should be Curtis Riley, the former Giants player who signed as a free agent and played some Monday. Also on the roster is Erik Harris, who started four games last season.
Among other options to beef up the rost could be free agent George Iloka, who who has experience with Minnesota and Cincinnati and has experience with Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Lamarcus Joyner played safety with the Rams last year but has been a nickel cornerback with the Raiders.