Week 6 of the NFL season will come to an end after Monday night’s game between the Giants and Eagles, and when teams begin preparing for Week 7, many clubs could be welcoming injured players back to practice. Six weeks into the NFL season, players who were placed on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football injury list prior to Week 1’s games will be eligible to return to the practice field.
Of course, just because those players are able to return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be healthy enough to do so. Players on the PUP list have a five-week window to begin practicing. Once they return to practice, they have three weeks to be added to their respective teams’ active rosters. In other words, a player currently on the PUP list could return to the field for his team’s Week 7 game, or could return as late as for his team’s Week 15 contest.
The rules for NFI players are similar to those for PUP players. If a player on either reserve list doesn’t return to practice or game action in time, his 2015 season will officially be over.
Here are the players currently on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list who can begin practicing as soon as this Tuesday:
- Atlanta Falcons: T Lamar Holmes
- Baltimore Ravens: TE Dennis Pitta
- Buffalo Bills: CB Cam Thomas
- Chicago Bears: WR Kevin White
- Cincinnati Bengals: LB Vontaze Burfict, LB Sean Porter
- Dallas Cowboys: OL Chaz Green
- Minnesota Vikings: CB Josh Robinson
- New England Patriots: LB Dane Fletcher, DT Chris Jones, WR Brandon LaFell
- New York Giants: T Will Beatty
- New York Jets: RB Stevan Ridley
- Pittsburgh Steelers: T Mike Adams
- San Francisco 49ers: C/G Daniel Kilgore
- Seattle Seahawks: CB Jeremy Lane, WR Paul Richardson
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Akeem Spence
And here are the players currently on their teams’ non-football injury or illness lists, who are also eligible to begin practicing this Tuesday:
- Arizona Cardinals: WR Damond Powell
- Buffalo Bills: CB Leodis McKelvin
- Cincinnati Bengals: T Cedric Ogbuehi
- Cleveland Browns: DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, TE Randall Telfer, RB Glenn Winston
- Dallas Cowboys: LB Mark Nzeocha
- Houston Texans: T David Quessenberry
- Kansas City Chiefs: QB Tyler Bray
- San Francisco 49ers: WR DeAndre Smelter
- Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams
In addition to monitoring players on the PUP and NFI lists, it’s worth keeping an eye on players who have been placed on the injured reserve list with the designation to return. Teams can use this IR-DTR spot on one player per season, placing him on the injured reserve list without necessarily ruling him out for the season. As we explained in an earlier post, players given this designation can begin practicing after six weeks and can return after eight weeks.
That means that a player who was placed on IR-DTR prior to Week 1 can begin practicing on Tuesday, though he won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 9. A player who was placed on IR-DTR after Week 1 will have to wait until next Tuesday – October 27 – to return to practice, while other IR-DTR players will have to wait until November to practice.
Here’s the list of players currently on IR-DTR who can begin practicing as soon as Tuesday:
- Baltimore Ravens: DE Brent Urban
- Cleveland Browns: CB Charles Gaines
- Detroit Lions: CB Alex Carter
- Miami Dolphins: RB Jay Ajayi
- Minnesota Vikings: C John Sullivan
- New England Patriots: C Bryan Stork
- New York Jets: CB Dee Milliner
- Pittsburgh Steelers: C Maurkice Pouncey
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: T Demar Dotson
- Tennessee Titans: RB David Cobb