Week Eleven of the NFL season is complete and one of the biggest stories of the week happened off the field. Although not directly related to snapping, the exclusion of specialists from the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been a controversial issue. The story surfaced again this past week after Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports wrote a detailed feature on former Raiders punter Ray Guy.
Guy, who had an incredible career, remains on the outside looking in when it comes to admission to the Hall of Fame. To date, one specialist, kicker Jan Stenerud, has been elected. Since the Carpenter story, others have weighed in on Guy’s credentials, including Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. If Guy does not gain admission, the next likely specialist for inclusion will be current Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.
In game action, the Chargers had their second punt blocked in as many weeks. To date, there have been 16 blocked punts this season, with the Chargers, Jets and Redskins having two each. Another special teams related play that is drawing significant media attention is the injury that tight end Rob Gronkowski of the Patriots suffered while blocking for an extra point late in the game against the Colts. Due to roster limits, most teams do not have a backup PAT unit and, therefore, it is expected that the starting unit will remain in the game, even in a blowout. Although the chance of injury is usually small on a PAT attempt, Gronkowski did break his forearm and will be sidelined for multiple weeks.
Three snappers, Josh Harris (Falcons), Jon Dorenbos (Eagles) and Jeremy Cain (Jaguars) each recorded solo tackles this week. The NFL Long Snappers Chart after Week Eleven is below.