At 90 percent, Raiders' Abram excited to 'get back'

One of a trio of much-ballyhooed Raiders 2019 first-round draft picks, hard-hitting safety Johnathan Abram's rookie season was a short-lived one.

As the Raiders wrapped up their tenure in Oakland, Abram was confined to the sidelines for the final 15 games of the franchise's time there when he sustained a torn rotator cuff in the team's season opener on Monday night against the Broncos.

He's ready and raring to return now, though, telling The Athletic's Vic Tafur he's at 90 percent in his recovery.

"I cannot wait to get back on the field," the 23-year-old Abram said.

Taken with the 27th pick of the draft out of Mississippi State, Abram was a vocal and memorable presence on HBO's "Hard Knocks" ahead of the season, but his time during the season lasted all of one game with five tackles and a pass defensed to show for it.

Hence, for Abram his second season will likely be much like another rookie campaign coupled with a comeback from injury.

Like the rest of the Raiders, Abram's next time in silver and black will be in Las Vegas. Of course, the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft is also in Las Vegas, complete with a red carpet on water with players set to be taken to the stage via boat at the Bellagio Gardens.

"I would definitely jump in the water," Abram said. "I really wish they would've done that last year. I would have worn a swimsuit instead of a suit."

For Raiders fans, they're just looking forward to the safety coming back healthy and wearing shoulder pads and a helmet once again. If that takes place, Abram's return might well be key in the Raiders improving from their 7-9 campaign in the season just past.

"We just have to get better week in and week out," Abram said. "And we have to stay healthy. That may have been our biggest issue last year. We have a lot of talent. Some people may have thought our rookie class was a surprise, but not me. I knew what we were all capable of. We may have had some success that we weren't ready for, and ended up throwing it all away. But we are a young team and we learned from that."

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