ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — It was hard to overlook Oakland rookie safety Johnathon Abram during the Raiders Monday night win over the Denver Broncos. Well, maybe look is quite the right word. Hear would be more appropriate.
The sound of his violent hits on Broncos running backs and receivers echoed through the Oakland Coliseum. But those hits may have been just a little too violent as Abram suffered a torn rotator cuff and labrum early in the game and kept playing.
“It hurts,” quarterback Derrick Carr said of Abram;s injury. “You see someone — all he was talking about before the game was ‘I waited my whole life for this. I waited my whole life for this. Forget about college, I waited my whole life for this moment.’
“For him to go out and hurt it like he did and to continue to play. He said I just started hitting people with my other shoulder. That shows you what kind of man he is.”
“He’s a grown man. He’s a Raider. I’ll make sure he still feels a part of it. Hardest thing for guys who are out for the year and on IR (injured reserve) you don’t see them. We’re still teammates…He still needs to be around as much as he can.”
Veteran safety Karl Joseph echoed Carr’s sentiment about making sure Abram knows his teammates are thinking about him during the recovery process.
“I know the kind of guy he is,” Joseph said. “He’ll bounce back. We just have to make sure we wrap our arms around him and be there for him to support him.”
Oakland head coach John Gruden said he’ll shuffle his defensive backfield line up to make up for Abram’s loss.
“It’s a big blow to our team,” he told reporters. “It’s a big loss… Fortunately for us, we kept 5 safeties (on the roster)…We’ll keep him around here to learn the defense. We’ll consider this a red-shirt year for him. He made some big plays (in win over Denver) to help us win a football game. He’s a big part of our future.”
Gruden said Abram would probably suit up for this week’s Kansas City game if the team let him.
“He’s everything that’s advertised,” the Raiders coach said. “He’s going to have surgery tomorrow (Thursday). We are keeping him in our thoughts and prayers.”