The Oakland Raiders‘ secondary just took a massive hit.
Just hours after the Raiders had a convincing 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos in their season opener, they were given some bad news. First round draft pick Johnathan Abram will likely be out for the remainder of the season due to a torn rotator cuff and labrum that he suffered in Week 1.
Abram will undergo surgery, according to Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report.
With that said, the young safety will also look for a second opinion on his shoulder, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN.
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Johnathan Abram Brought Aggressive Look to Raiders
The 27th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft had a promising debut, delivering five tackles and one pass breakup, helping the Raiders defense hold the Broncos to just six points until there was 8:39 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders, who had the worst defense in the NFL in 2018, looked like a completely different unit in their season opener. That different look was spearheaded by Abram — this new fast, aggressive and physical look.
The 22-year-old safety commented on the Raiders’ presence on defense, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
“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.”
Abram played in 77 percent of the snaps against the Broncos. Denver advanced to the red zone on four different occasions, only to go 1-of-4 in the red zone. They ran 14 plays and came out with just 25 yards. The Raiders’ defense was so intimidating that DaeSean Hamilton dropped a decently-thrown touchdown pass that would have cut the deficit to 14-10.
Head coach Jon Gruden tempered his expectations a little on his rookie safety, pointing out missed tackles from the game.
“I think he probably got a little bit too reckless at times,” Gruden said. “Made some great plays, some impact plays and certainly I think some tackles he’s got to make for us, he missed, but his debut was pretty good.
“And I think tackling around the league the first week of the season was suspect on the films that I saw. A lot of these guys haven’t played much. We don’t tackle in practice, so I think it will pick up here in the next week or two.”
Raiders Vastly Outplay Broncos, Derek Carr Carves Defense
Although the score reflected a close game, it didn’t really paint the entire picture. The Raiders vastly outplayed the Broncos, which was a bit surprising considering Denver was favored by 2.5 points following Antonio Brown‘s release.
Not only did the Raiders hound the Broncos when they were on defense — they sacked Joe Flacco three times — they obliterated the highly-hyped Broncos defense.
The Broncos couldn’t get any pressure on Derek Carr — in fact, he wasn’t sacked a single time or pressured at all — as prized pass-rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb were non-factors.
Carr finished the game 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) for 259 yards and a touchdown. He also averaged a ridiculous 10.0 yards per pass attempt.
The veteran quarterback said that although the Raiders don’t have Brown any longer, they’re still a great football team.
“I love Antonio, he knows that,” Carr said. “He’s not here and I wish him the best. I hope he goes off and finds everything he wants. There’s no hurt feelings, there’s no anger in me. …
“We had a good football team even when (Brown) wasn’t there (for practice). We knew if we had him, my goodness, that could be crazy because he’s so good as a football player. But he’s not here.”
The Raiders will prepare for a much tougher test in Week 2 — a home matchup against the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs.
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