After transition to reserves, Navy's Joe Cardona to be at Patriots camp

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When the New England Patriots released long-snapper Christian Yount on Thursday, it was an indication that incumbent Joe Cardona, of Navy, would be available to the club in 2016.

That is indeed the case, as Cardona -- who had been on active duty but was able to play with New England last season around his job at the Naval Preparatory Academy in Newport, Rhode Island -- has been transitioned to the Navy Reserve and will thus be at the start of Patriots training camp July 28.

Cardona's availability was not a certainty earlier this offseason, as he didn't take part in voluntary organized team activities while on active duty (but was at mandatory minicamp in June). That led to the signing of Yount, a four-year veteran, on April 22.

Players from Navy who’ve gained clearance to play in the NFL have been a notable storyline the past two years, first with Cardona, and this year with Baltimore Ravens rookie Keenan Reynolds.

After the release of Yount and rookie linebacker C.J. Johnson on Thursday, the Patriots have 87 players on their 90-man roster. Three signings to fill the final spots are expected before the start of training camp.