After eight years of not thinking twice about their long snapper, the Green Bay Packers suddenly have uncertainty at the often overlooked position.
The Packers placed reliable veteran Brett Goode on injured reserve Tuesday after initial tests showed that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament early in Sunday's 30-20 win over Oakland, according to his agent Kevin Gold. To replace him, they signed rookie long snapper Rick Lovato, who recently worked out for the team.
It’s believed Goode sustained the injury in the first quarter against the Raiders, but finished the game. He’s played in 137 consecutive games during the regular and postseason for Green Bay, including all 14 this season. The Packers feature one of the longest-tenured specialist groups in the NFL with Goode, kicker Mason Crosby and punter Tim Masthay having worked together for the past six seasons.
Goode, 31, inquired about wearing a brace and playing the rest of the season, but instead will undergo surgery early next week.
“He was able to get through it without incident, but it looks like it’s torn, unfortunately,” Gold said. “He wanted to play through it, but you really can’t. He was willing to do what it took to finish out, but unfortunately that’s not going to work. He’s going to get it taken care of and hopefully be back next season.”
The timing is unfortunate for Goode, who’s in the final year of the three-year, $2.715 million extension he signed with the Packers in October 2012. Goode scratched and clawed to make it in the NFL. After getting cut twice by Jacksonville, the Packers famously called Goode off a construction site for a last-minute tryout after long snapper J.J. Jansen injured his knee leading up to the start of the 2008 season.
The Packers signed Goode on Sept. 1, 2008, and he's been under contract since. Goode's the sixth-longest tenured player on Green Bay's roster.
"He's got a good attitude," Gold said. "He's going to get it fixed. When he's ready to come back, I think they'll give him a shot next year. He's ready to compete, get his job back and do whatever it takes to get healthy."
Lovato, who'll wear No. 59, appeared in all 50 games for Old Dominion as the team’s long snapper from 2011-14. The 23-year-old went to camp with the Chicago Bears before being released Aug. 31.
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