INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 31: Logan Mankins #70 of the New England Patriots answers questions from the media during Media Day ahead of Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 31, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
With Patriots veterans reporting to training camp today, the team will reportedly place six more players on the Active/PUP list. According to ESPN Boston's Mike Rodak, the G Logan Mankins, LB Brandon Spikes, OT Sebastian Vollmer, DT Myron Pryor, TE Daniel Fells, and TE Jake Ballard are headed to the list.
Ballard's move comes as no surprise, as he is expected to miss the entire 2012 season as he recovers from microfracture surgery. Four of the other players, Brandon Spikes (knee), Sebastian Vollmer (back), Logan Mankins (knee), and Daniel Fells (leg), are likely all beginning training camp on PUP because of respective offseason surgeries / ailments.
Daniel Fells' continued absence, after missing OTA's, could prompt the team to sign a free agent tight end such as Visanthe Shiancoe. Meanwhile, the move with Logan Mankins is of some concern, as we have yet to know when he will be healthy as he recovers from offseason ACL surgery. Less in known about the injury situations of Brandon Spikes and Sebastian Vollmer, but both underwent offseason surgery that wasn't expected to keep either out of the 2012 season.
For Myron Pryor, starting training camp on the list likely isn't a good sign for his future. Despite being a productive player when on the field, he has struggled to stay healthy. Because of that, he was already facing an uphill climb for a roster spot this August. Missing any practice time due to injury or conditioning certainly won't help his case for a roster spot.
It's also worth noting a player who underwent offseason surgery but isn't on this list: tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski's omission means that he will more than likely be ready for the start of training camp on Thursday.
Teams can activate players from the Active/PUP list at any time during the preseason. However, if not activated by the end of the preseason, teams must decide whether or not to place the player on the reserve/PUP list, which would hold the player out for at least the first six weeks of the season. For a player such as Logan Mankins, this could become an option by the end of camp if a return to the field doesn't seem close.