The New England Patriots might be entering the preseason without their longest-tenured specialist.
Joe Cardona, who’s entering his seventh season as New England’s long snapper, “could potentially miss a little time” after leaving Sunday’s training camp practice with an injury, according to a report Monday from The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
The injury appeared to be to Cardona’s hand or wrist. He exited the field roughly halfway through practice, walking toward the locker room with a member of the Patriots training staff.
Cardona’s departure forced two emergency long snappers into action. Tight end Jonnu Smith took over snapping duties for punts, and defensive end Deatrich Wise handled them for field-goal attempts.
Until Cardona is healthy enough to return, expect the Patriots to add another experienced long snapper to their 90-man roster, perhaps as early as Monday. Wes Farnsworth, who was with New England during organized team activities and minicamp this spring, currently is a free agent.
The Patriots opened a spot on their roster Monday morning by waiving fourth-string quarterback Jake Dolegala.
Tight end Hunter Henry (shoulder) and center David Andrews (hand) also suffered injuries during Sunday’s practice. Henry is undergoing an MRI and “could miss time in the preseason,” according to a report from ESPN’s Mike Reiss. Andrews’ X-ray came back negative, per multiple reports.
The Patriots open the preseason this Thursday night against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium.
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