The New England Patriots placed seven players on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which is reserved for players that are physically incapable of taking the field. The list includes the team’s top two receivers in Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.
As far as Herald beat writer Jeff Howe is concerned, Edelman’s spot on the list is procedural.
“Edelman will be ready very, very soon,” Howe said on 98.5 Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich. “That’s what I was told early in camp over and over again and throughout the offseason. If it’s not Thursday for that first practice or Saturday for the first padded practice, it will happen sooner rather than later.”
“There is only one time you can put them on the PUP list,” Howe added. “If you practice once you’re not eligible to be put on the list. It’s a procedural measure. Not all PUP list entries are created equal.”
Howe is highlighting the fact that players cannot be added on to the PUP list during camp. If the team had cleared Edelman, but he was less-than-100%, the receiver would occupy a roster spot and reduce the team’s roster flexibility. With Edelman on the PUP list, they have the opportunity to sit Edelman for the start of the regular season until he is fully healthy to play.
With that said, Edelman was spotted participating in Red Sox batting practice and looks to be on track to return. Patriots players average roughly two weeks on the PUP list, so expect a speedy return.
Howe also touched on the Patriots management of their offensive centerpieces in tight end Rob Gronkowski, and Edelman and Amendola.
“They don’t want those guys [Edelman, Amendola, Gronk] on the field, especially Gronkowski,” Howe said. “I know they’ve discussed not playing Gronk for a preseason game; I don’t know if that decision has been made yet. What they have working for them is the two sets of joint practices against the Saints and the Bears. They can go hard those two days knowing the risk of injury is greatly reduced. If they can get three, maybe four really good workouts in with those two teams over that two-week stretch, that gets a lot of the timing elements they want done.”
Head coach Bill Belichick enjoys joint practices because it allows his players to see opposing defensive schemes with less risk. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will need to get his timing down with the offensive players, so look for the young quarterback to have plenty of time with the first team during the joint practices.
We await an update on Amendola’s injury, but it seems like the Patriots offense should be healthy sooner, rather than later.