While the Oakland Raiders were in the midst of a dominating performance against the Denver Broncos, something devastating appeared to happen. With just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter, starting cornerback Gareon Conley suffered a neck injury that caused him to be taken off the field on a stretcher. It came while he was continuing a shutdown performance against Emmanuel Sanders.
The worst part was that it was a totally avoidable injury. The injury came as he was trying to tackle Broncos running back Royce Freeman out of bounds. As Freeman was on the way down, Conley’s teammate, rookie Johnathan Abram came in to finish the job and while sliding, his leg hit Conley’s head and caused his neck to get hyperextended. Fortunately for the rookie, it looks like he didn’t hurt his teammate too badly.
Gareon Conley Injury: Latest on Raiders CB
Shortly after the game, head coach Jon Gruden had a chance to give an update on Conley’s injury.
“I got good word on him that he’s going to be OK,” said Gruden of Conley. “Don’t have a status for the next game, but the important thing is the kid is going to be alright.”
Neck injuries are always scary and could easily end a career. It’s a really good sign that Conley didn’t suffer a significant injury. The cornerback also had a chance to give an update on his Instagram story where he said that he made it back home.
“I’m okay…thanks to everyone who reached out,” said Conley. “Thanks Raider Nation and shoutout to my teammates for getting the dub.”
The news that he made it home shortly after the injury could mean that he’s mostly okay. He also posted a video on his Instagram of him running with his kid, so it’s looking like he’s doing well. We won’t know if he’s playing against the Kansas City Chiefs until the Raiders reveal something publicly, but even if he misses that game, it appears he’ll be back sooner than later. Oakland will certainly need him as he’s supposed to be their top cornerback.
UPDATE: Jon Gruden said to the media on Tuesday that Conley has a chance to play against the Chiefs, but he won’t have a better idea until Wednesday.
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Johnathan Abram Didn’t Realize He Caused Injury
As mentioned previously, the injury could’ve been avoided altogether potentially. The rookie didn’t even know that he had injured Conley until a reporter brought it up to him, as SB Nation’s Levi Damien revealed.
“That’s what happened?” said Abram. “My leg kicked him? I got them harsh legs, huh? I didn’t know what happened, I was just sad to see my teammate down. I’m glad he’s ok.”
The Raiders are very high on Abram and love his energy, so this will likely just be a blip on the radar of his career, and it certainly wasn’t something to blame him for. Abram is one of the most exciting young players the Raiders have and he didn’t do anything to slow down the hype during Monday’s game.