After near injury, Raiders SS Johnathan Abram brings second-half energy vs. Saints

Early in the Raiders’ win against the Saints, Las Vegas was struggling to contain Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense. But what happened to safety Johnathan Abram early in the contest was more concerning.

He appeared to be seriously injured after making a diving tackle during the Saints’ second series. Abram dove out of bounds, colliding with a cart placed near the boundary by the TV crew. He lay motionless as the telecast went to commercial.

He rose to his feet, however, returning to the sideline under his own power, and with a pep in his step, too. It was a relief for the Raiders franchise and its fans. Abram, the promising second-year pro, missed almost all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Soon thereafter, Abram returned to the game. He also helped the defense slow down the Saints, as best they could, in the second half. According to linebacker Nicholas Morrow, the coaching staff had one main request for the defense at intermission, and Abram happily complied.

“The message was to play with more energy. We got guys like Johnathan Abram. We got guys like Maxx Crosby. We got those young guys who are the catalyst of our defense; they get us going emotionally,” Morrow told reporters after the game. “And JA [Johnathan Abram], he went out there and made sure we stayed on with our energy, communicating. He went out there and basically stayed on his energy, just communicated on the back end.”

Though the Raiders enjoyed a historic victory Monday night, the defense remains a concern. It’s imperative that they maximize their potential, and energy, attitude and communication are important characteristics of a solid defense that can’t be underestimated. They’re extremely important.

Those happen to be Abram’s strengths, as are his physical skills. And after Abram returned from his frighting collision and was cleared by medical staff, he didn’t miss a beat. That attitude has to continue if Las Vegas is to win consistently.

“Honestly, it was just energy,” Morrow said. “Just keep our energy up. Don’t let them win.”

Sometimes, football is as simple as that. Energy. Attitude. Don’t let them win. After two games in 2020, Abram is solidifying his role on an evolving defense, showing his teammates that even if you get knocked down, you’ve got to get back up and make it clear that you’re there to stay.

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