August 8, 2022
At the outset of the New England Patriots training camp, five pretty significant players have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. 

At the outset of the New England Patriots training camp, five pretty significant players have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Patriots placed starting center David Andrews, running back James White, recently signed safety Jabrill Peppers, cornerback Johnathan Jones and potential starting middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan on the PUP list.

What does it mean to be on the PUP list? This is one of the most common questions from NFL fans after learning of several players across the league who have landed on the PUP list before training camp.


The PUP List Explained

The PUP list is specifically for players who are injured at the start of training camp, and there are two different designations: active and reserve.

A player on the active PUP list has to be unable to participate in practices before the beginning of training camp. Because training camp gets underway next week, the Patriots made these moves with the players they knew would be unavailable.

If they had waited until after training camp began, they would have had to designate them as reserve PUP list, meaning they would have to be inactive for the first six weeks of the season.

As active players on the PUP list, White, McMillan, Andrews, Peppers, and Jones can be activated anytime during the Patriots’ training camp. If they haven’t been activated when the regular season begins, they would have to be moved to the reserve PUP list or potentially released.

Another key distinction between the two statuses is that active PUP players still count against a team’s 53-man roster, but reserve PUP players do not.


Each Patriots Player on the PUP List Has a Slightly Different Situation

Andrews played through a torn labrum last season and is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery to repair the injury. He was originally expected to be ready for training camp, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.

In any case, Andrews is expected to resume his role as starting center on the Patriots’ offensive line once he is cleared by the team’s medical staff. Jones is also recovering from a shoulder injury, although he missed all but six games during the 2021 season after he had surgery to fix the problem.

Jones said recovery was “day-by-day” during the offseason, but it is unclear how close he is to being cleared to practice. The Patriots don’t have many proven players at cornerback, but Jones could be a surprising cut candidate if rookies like Jack Jones and Marcus Jones are impressive during training camp.

Peppers suffered a season-ending “partial ACL tear” in October while still playing for the Giants. Despite the injury, the Patriots still signed Peppers. It is doubtful New England would have paid Peppers if there were serious concerns about him being available at some point during training camp. His spot in secondary is likely pretty secure though we should watch how well he performs once he gets into action.

McMillan was lost to a torn ACL last season just before the start of preseason. He figures to have e a solid chance to play major snaps if he can be ready to play in training camp. Unfortunately, if he is too delayed, he might be released.

White is a beloved veteran whose skill set as a pass-catcher out of the backfield is highly valued in New England. Furthermore, his leadership is nearly as important to the Patriots’ locker room. That said, the Patriots have many running backs with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, rookies Kevin Harris, Pierre Strong Jr., veteran Ty Montgomery, and J.J. Taylor.

New England would likely love to have White back, but if the recovery on his injured hip takes too much time, he too could be released or sent to the reserve PUP list.

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