Jack Del Rio’s decision to go for a two-point conversion was more of a no-brainer than a head-scratcher.
It initially looked like one of the season’s strangest coaching decisions when the Raiders went for 2 following a touchdown that put them ahead by three against the Broncos in the fourth quarter Sunday.
But Del Rio really had no choice at all.
Long snapper Jon Condo had dislocated his right shoulder while recovering a fumbled punt moments earlier in the fourth quarter of the 15-12 victory. Condo’s backup, tight end Lee Smith, had a cast on his snapping hand.
When Derek Carr threw incomplete, the Broncos needed only a field goal to tie, but Brandon McManus’s hook let the Raiders off the hook minutes later. After nailing all four of his field goals in the first half, he clanked a 49-yarder into the south end zone high off the left upright.
“Things like that come up during the game,” Del Rio said, “and you made a snap judgment.”
The Broncos failed to make the Raiders pay by missing the field goal and several of Brock Osweiler’s passes — including a critical drop by ex-49er Vernon Davis. The bumbling offense ended up wasting a historically great first half by Denver’s defense, which allowed minus-12 yards.
One day later, the Raiders could be looking for a starter. Although Condo returned and finished the game, Del Rio said that tests revealed a potentially season-ending injury. A roster move could be coming later this week.
“It’s not great news coming back,” Del Rio said. “We’ll see how it goes. There’s a strong likelihood that we’ll have to make a move to bring another guy in.”
The 34-year-old Condo has been the Raiders’ long snapper since 2007 and has started 141 consecutive games. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Dallas in 2005.