The New England Patriots are able to return players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list today, but that’s not expected to happen per head coach Bill Belichick.
Bill Belichick says "probably not this week" when asked if PUP players Dion Lewis and Tre' Jackson will begin practicing.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 18, 2016
RB Dion Lewis (knee), RG Tre Jackson (knee), and RT Sebastian Vollmer (hip/shoulder) were placed on the PUP list during the preseason. Vollmer isn’t expected to return this season, while Lewis and Jackson are expected to serve as mid-season reinforcements.
Teams are eligible to return players from the PUP list in week 7, but have until week 12 to decide whether or not to allow a player to practice. Once a player starts to practice, teams have three weeks to decide whether or not to activate them to the 53-man roster.
Jackson has been warming up with the team and should be close to a return. The release of OG Jonathan Cooper has been linked to the expected return of Jackson.
The Patriots have a bye week in week 9, so perhaps the Patriots want to wait a little bit longer before bringing these two back on to the field- maybe the Patriots want to align their return with the bye so they have an easy first week, like they aligned the return of TE Rob Gronkowski with the return of QB Tom Brady with a game against the Browns.
There isn’t an apparent need for either Lewis or Jackson to come back at this exact moment as RB James White and OG Ted Karras have played fine in their stead.