Two recent Naval Academy graduates will be permitted to play in the NFL this season.
Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds and Patriots second-year long snapper Joe Cardona have both been given permission to play this NFL season while serving in the Navy Reserves, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Dan Patrick Show this morning.
The Navy, like Army and Air Force, requires graduates to serve in the military after graduation. But exceptions are sometimes made that allow graduates to pursue their careers while in the Reserves. When those exceptions are made for professional athletes, they are usually required to work at military recruiting stations during the offseason, and to do military work after their sports careers end.
Cardona was the Patriots’ fifth-round pick last year and served as their long snapper in all 16 games. Reynolds set an NCAA record for career touchdowns as an option quarterback at Navy and is hoping to make the Ravens’ roster as a running back, receiver or return man.