The New England Patriots have placed seven players on the training camp Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which means that they have to pass a physical examination before returning to the field.
The list includes six players that started last season and free agent signing Clay Harbor. Wide receivers Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (ankle) are recovering from surgeries, while sophomore linemen Shaq Mason (knee) and Tre Jackson (knee) are hoping they still have a roster spot. The absence of Mason and Jackson means that newcomers Joe Thuney and Jonathan Cooper will have a real shot of winning the starting jobs.
Veteran tackle Sebastian Vollmer isn’t a stranger to the PUP list and started the 2012 season on the list. His placement on the list helps explain why the Patriots signed tackle Kyler Kerbyson as line depth.
Running back Dion Lewis and Mason had returned to practice earlier this offseason, which might cause people to scratch their heads about their inclusion on the PUP list. Players like left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Josh Kline, and defensive backs Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon didn’t practice, but they look to be available for camp.
My message to Patriots fans is to take a deep breath and not panic. The Patriots place people on the list all the time. In fact, they put tight end Jake Ballard on the list in 2013 and removed him the same exact day. There are multiple cases of players getting off the list in the first week back at camp and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lewis, Mason, and Harbor fell into that category.
Edelman, Amendola, and Vollmer, on the other hand, could take a few weeks to return. They are crucial to the team’s offensive success and head coach Bill Belichick will ensure they are fully healthy before activating them. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson was placed on the injured reserve as the team tries to work through his knee injuries.
I’ve created a list of players the Patriots have placed on the PUP list over the past four seasons and when they have been removed. Of the 26 players that have been placed on the PUP list, three have been placed on the injured reserve, three have been placed on the PUP list to start the season, and three have been outright cut for failing their physical. The other 17 players returned to the field after an average stretch of 16 days.
Check out the full list below: