For the first time in nearly a decade someone other than Jon Condo will handle the long snapping duties. Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo was placed on Injured Reserve this week. According to Head Coach Jack Del Rio, Condo will have surgery on his injured shoulder. Condo hurt his shoulder while recovering a muffed punt this past Sunday against the Broncos in Denver. That fumble recovery set up the Raiders go-ahead touchdown in a 15-12 victory.
"Obviously, it's tough to lose a guy like Jon. He was really solid," Coach Del Rio said. "We didn't have to talk about him a lot, so that means he was doing his job, kind of an anonymous role – obviously, a very vital and a very important role. He'll get surgery and get back to healing, but for now, we have to move on."
It's hard to place a value on a long-snapper. Condo is regarded as one of the best in the NFL, and along with punter/holder Marquette King and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, is an integral part of one of the best special teams batteries in the NFL.
Janikowski went so far as to thank Condo during a locker room media session shortly before the kicker set the Raiders team record for most games played. As far as games played is concerned, Condo hasn't missed a game since 2006. He has never missed a game as a Raider. In fact, he has played in 141 straight games for Oakland. The last long snapper employed by the Raiders prior to Condo? Center Chris Morris in the 2006 season finale on New Year's Eve.
To put it in perspective, Irreplaceable by Beyoncé, was the No. 1 song on the Billboard Chart, Night at the Museum was the No. 1 movie at the box office, the St. Louis Cardinals were World Series champs, the Golden State Warriors were 16-16, Troy Smith of Ohio State was the Heisman Trophy winner, and Florida (coached by Urban Meyer) and Ohio State were set to meet in the BCS National Championship the last time someone other than Jon Condo was the long snapper for the Raiders.
The Raiders added long snapper Thomas Gafford this week. The Houston-native has eight years of NFL experience with Chicago and Kansas City respectively. He has played in 116 games during his career, including 11 with the Bears this year. Interestingly enough, he entered the NFL with Green Bay in 2006. The Raiders take on the Packers this Sunday.
Still, it'll be strange not seeing No. 59 in Silver and Black out there this Sunday. Condo took to Twitter to thanks the fans for their love and support.