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Navy 'strongly recommending' Keenan Reynolds play

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Keenan Reynolds' inspiring story can now live on in the NFL.

Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy, told The Dan Patrick Show Friday morning (via Pro Football Talk) that the Navy has given the Baltimore Ravens' sixth-round draft pick permission to play this season.

While the Navy is fine with Reynolds playing, he must receive final approval from the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for the clearance to become official. According to Ravens' official website, Mabus "strongly recommended" in his request to the Secretary of Defense that Reynolds be granted permission to play.

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Mabus also confirmed Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona has gotten the Navy's permission to play again this season. Cardona was drafted in 2015 by the Patriots and appeared in all 16 games last year.

Athletes from the Navy, Army and Air Force academies are required to complete active duty military service following graduation, which is why permission is required. According to the academy's official site, the Navy requires five years in exchange for tuition, room and board, medical and dental care costs.

Last year, Reynolds broke the NCAA career record for touchdowns scored (88 rushing/receiving and 31 passing), though he'll likely find a place as a running back or wideout in Baltimore.

He joins the roster at an interesting time. Reynolds is no doubt an explosive athlete and Baltimore's offense is trying to make up for a season where their skill position players seemed stuck in neutral. The team signed former top-five pick Trent Richardson to add some competition to their backfield. At wide receiver, Reynolds will have to compete against the likes of Breshad Perriman, Marlon Brown and Chris Moore for playing time. Kamar Aiken, Steve Smith and Mike Wallace appear to be the likely starters.

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