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Navy Will Allow Patriots Long Snapper Joe Cardona To Play In NFL Next Season

BOSTON (CBS) -- Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona will be able to play in the NFL this season.

Cardona, along with Baltimore Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds, received permission to play football while serving in the Navy Reserves, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told The Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning.

Navy grads (as well as graduates from Army and Air Force) are required to serve after graduation, but exceptions are occasionally made to allow graduates to serve in the reserve while they pursue their careers. Last season as a rookie, Cardona spent his off days on Tuesdays fulfilling his Navy duties at the Naval Preparatory Academy in Newport, Rhode Island.

Cardona was a fifth-round pick by the Patriots last year (the first Navy player to be drafted since 1993) and served as the team's long snapper in all 16 games.

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