In the season opener of 2012, the Oakland Raiders learned how valuable long snapper Jon Condo is to the team. When Condo went out with a head injury, the Raiders botched two snaps and had a punt blocked in a loss to the San Diego Chargers. Condo is healthy for the 2013 season as one of the top specialists in the league.
Condo is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a consistent part of the special teams. Along with his precise snapping duties, Condo also contributed five special teams' tackles and a fumble recovery. He will be the long snapper when the Raiders open the regular season against the Indianapolis Colts barring injury.
The Raiders need a better plan if Condo gets injured than they had last season. Back-up middle linebacker Travis Goethel came in to replace Condo, but had not performed those responsibilities on a consistent basis since high school. With all the change at the linebacker position, Goethel is not assured of a roster spot. He is also coming back from a torn ACL that ended his season a year ago.
Oakland must have a contingency plan if Condo is injured. He is the only long snapper listed on the roster which makes sense because those spots are at a premium. However, the Raiders will need to use some time during training camp to look at their other options and make whoever the back-up is comfortable enough with repetitions so they can perform in an emergency situation. A little preparation will go a long way in training camp because last season it cost the Raiders a win.
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