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Troy Brown, Chad Jackson on PUP to start season

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Brown, Jackson Head PUP List
What Does It Mean for Patriots?

The New England Patriots placed wide receivers, veteran Troy Brown and barely more than a rookie Chad Jackson, on the reserve / physically unable to perform list with cornerback Eddie Jackson. The team also placed cornerback Mike Richardson in injured reserve, ending his season, and cut offensive lineman Chris Patrick.

Being listed on the reserve/PUP list means a player cannot be activated for the first six weeks of the season, after which the team has three weeks to activate the player or designate him injured reserve. If activated, the team must complete another roster move to keep the active roster at 53 players.

While many will speculate on the injuries of Brown and Jackson, it's a thinly veiled secret that teams use the PUP (and other mechanisms) to keep players on their rosters while they wait for the first several weeks of the season to play out. So, whether by "fortune" or design, the Patriots will have Jackson -- who missed most of last season with a recursive hamstring problem -- and Brown -- who is nearing the end of his career -- in reserve should any of the other receivers in the team's recently deep pool (or, in the case of Brown, a few defensive backs) go down with season-ending injuries or simply "don't work out."

The official signing of Samuel decreases the chances Brown will be needed in the defensive secondary, and naming both Brown and Jackson on the PUP indicate that the Patriots will carry six receivers -- Randy Moss, Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker, Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell and Bam Childress -- on the 53-man roster. If they carry just five, Gaffney, Caldwell or Childress will be the first to go. If any of those don't perform in the first six to nine games (or get injured) expect Jackson or Brown to step in.

Before anyone gets all worked up over New England "working the system," both Jackson and Brown had off-season knee surgery.