Curtis Riley

Raiders' Trayvon Mullen stretchered off vs. Chargers after teammate collision


Raiders' Trayvon Mullen stretchered off vs. Chargers after teammate collision

Raiders cornerback Trayvon Mullen was stretchered off the field late in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park. 

Mullen collided with Raiders safety Curtis Riley after both players tried to tackle Chargers wide receiver Andre Patton. The rookie corner almost immediately received medical attention from the Raiders' staff, and he waved to the crowd soon after when he was stretchered off. 

Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Mullen was taken to a nearby hospital after the game. 

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A Clemson product, Mullen collided with a teammate earlier Sunday, briefly leaving the game.

Mullen, a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, played in all 15 games this season including Sunday. He took over as a starting cornerback after the Raiders traded Gareon Conley to the Houston Texans, playing no fewer than 75 percent of Oakland's defensive snaps since Week 8. 

Raiders' Curtis Riley ready to step up in Johnathan Abram's absence

Raiders' Curtis Riley ready to step up in Johnathan Abram's absence

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders suffered a big loss during their 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 1, as rookie safety Johnathan Abram tore his rotator cuff and will be placed on injured reserve. 

The first-round NFL draft pick is a hellacious tackler, and his speed and tenacity are things the Raiders' defense will miss for the rest of the season.

"Big blow to our team," coach Jon Gruden said Wednesday about the injury. "It's a big loss, no question. Fortunately for us, we kept five safeties, five really good players. So, we'll hope to get John back, keep him around to learn the defense and consider this a redshirt year." 

The Raiders rotated their safeties in Week 1, but now there will be more asked of veterans Curtis Riley and Erik Harris. Oakland will need a collective effort to fill the void left by Abram. 

"I think they did well," Gruden said of his other safeties' performances in Week 1. "Everybody has a role and right now everybody at the safety position's role has changed a little bit. Fortunately, we have some veterans -- Erik Harris, Karl Joseph, Riley started 16 games for the Giants and played well for us. So, we'll go with those guys and perhaps Leavitt will get his shot." 

Riley, a five-year pro out of Fresno State, started all 16 games last season for the New York Giants, collecting four interceptions and five passes defensed during his final season in the Meadowlands. Losing Abram is a huge hit to the Raiders' defense, but Riley is confident he can do what is needed to keep the unit on track. 

"Whatever comes my way, whatever the coaches got going, whoever they feel should be out there -- if it's me then I'm going to give it my all and go out there and execute the plays," Riley told NBC Sports California on Wednesday. "We all have similar styles. We're all fast, we're all physical, we all tackle. It's just the same thing all the DBs doing now, just got to come in and do the same thing. I'm always confident." 

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Joseph, who roomed with Abram during training camp in Napa, believes Riley will fill in admirably for their fallen teammate and the Raiders' defense will be able to maintain an upward trajectory. 

"I think we'll be just fine," Joseph said. "I think Curtis has played at a high level before, he's started in this league so he's going to have to come in and step up for us. He's proven that he can play this offseason, so I think we'll be just fine."

Riley, Harris and the rest of the new safety group will be thrown into the first immediately as the Raiders welcome reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to the Coliseum on Sunday. While star receiver Tyreek Hill will miss the game, the Chiefs passing attack still is one of the best in the league, and Abram's replacements will be tested immediately. 

NFL rumors: Raiders' Johnathan Abram has shoulder injury, could miss season


NFL rumors: Raiders' Johnathan Abram has shoulder injury, could miss season

Johnathan Abram played his first Raiders regular-season game on Monday night. It may have been his last of the year.

The first-round draft pick suffered a torn rotator cuff during the 24-16 victory over the Broncos and will have surgery this week, Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe reported on Tuesday.

ESPN also reported about Abram’s injury but said he’ll receive a second opinion and that injured reserve is a possibility.

That would be a huge blow to the Raiders secondary, where he was paired with Karl Joseph in the back. He had a strong game against Denver, with three tackles and two quarterback pressures. He was often trying to deliver a tone-setting blow, and missed a few tackles because of it.

Head coach Jon Gruden loves Abram’s enthusiasm, but knows it must be tempered some in the future. Or, if he’s hurt, whenever he plays next.

[RELATED: Raiders CB Conley could play Chiefs after scary neck injury]

“I think he probably got a little bit too reckless at times,” Gruden said. “He 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.”

Curtis Riley would be the first reserve up if Abram can’t go, with Erik Harris available after that. Lamarcus Joyner is an excellent slot cornerback, but he has proven to be a quality safety in the past and could move back and forth if required.