Training camp is now six weeks away and with the offseason practices now behind us; we can speculate what the 2013 Active PUP list might look like when the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe later next month.
Before we have a look at the players who could be destined for that list, however, it is important to know what the physical unable to perform list is for and the rules that are associated with it.
In order for a player to be qualified for the Reserve PUP list at the start of the regular season, he must have been listed on the Active PUP list for the duration of training camp. A team cannot add a player to the Active PUP list once he has started practicing and cannot be added back to the list once he is removed from it. If there is any question about the health of a certain player once they arrive for training camp, that player will be placed on the Active PUP list as a precaution and thus be unable to practice with the team until removed from it.
Now, onto the candidates.
Linebacker Sean Spence (knee) – As expected, Spence missed the entire slate of offseason practices as he continues to recover from the serious knee injury that suffered last preseason. The Steelers former third-round draft did say his rehab was going good several weeks ago, and that he intends on playing in 2013 despite there being several that don\’t think he will. Baring something miraculous happening over the course of the next six weeks, you can expect Spence to start training camp off on the Active PUP list and he most certainly will be a candidate for the Reserve PUP list as well come the start of the regular season.
Tight end Heath Miller (knee) – The last report we had on Miller included him running 100-yard sprints on the side while his teammates happily looked on. Like Spence, Miller also updated the condition of his surgically repaired knee that was injured late in the 2012 season, but at the same time refused to speculate whether or not he\’d be ready for the 2013 season opener. By the time the Steelers report to training camp late next month, Miller will only be right at seven months removed from his surgery, so it\’s not hard to speculate that he will join Spence on the Active PUP list with hopes that he can be removed from it just prior to the start of the regular season.
Tackle Mike Adams (stab wounds) – Adams\’ surgery to repair stab wounds that reportedly resulted in a lacerated colon took place on June 1st, so he will be almost eight weeks removed from the incident when the team reports to Latrobe. While Adams is expected to be healed come that time, his conditioning might be behind due to inactivity, so it should not come as a surprise if he starts training camp off on the Active PUP list while he continues to get himself back into football shape.
Cornerback Terry Hawthorne (knee) – The Steelers 2013 fifth-round draft pick had knee surgery on May 21st, and all signs point to him being ready for action by the time the team reports. There is still a slight chance that he might not be ready; however, so keep him in the back of your mind as a possible PUP candidate until we hear more about how his rehab is coming along.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee) – Roethlisberger made sure to let everyone know that the procedure done on his right now well over a week ago was not a repair, but instead a clean up from a previous procedure. Although he didn\’t practice afterwards, he has been spotted throwing on the side with his knee wrapped, and he told the media that he would “absolutely” be ready for training camp. While we certainly have no reason not to believe him, there still is a very slight chance that the coaching staff might want to err on the side of caution for the first week of camp, so we will list him as a potential PUP candidate because of that.