While cleaning out some old emails early Tuesday morning, I came across one from the league that I received back in 2013 that I had missed. It was an important one at that.
In that missed email were changes to the 2011 CBA that were voted on and passed prior to the start of the 2013 season and one of them affected the rules regarding the physically unable to perform (PUP) lists.
Here is the 2013 CBA league rule change on PUP returns:
Commencing on the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend (October 15) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend (November 19), clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform for a period not to exceed 21 calendar days. Pads and helmets are permitted during the 21-day period. At any time during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, clubs are permitted to restore such players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform to their Active/Inactive List.
Prior to that change being made, players who were on PUP lists had until the ninth regular-season weekend to resume practicing. Assuming they were able to do so, their team then had 21 days from that point before needing to place them back on the 53-man roster. The 2013 change means teams can now push back by two weeks the opening of the 21-day practice period. In other words, a player on the Reserve/PUP list could make his regular-season debut as late as Week 15 under the new rules.
So, how does that missed 2013 change affect the Pittsburgh Steelers this season? Well, in short, tackle Mike Adams has several more weeks left until the Steelers have to make a decision with him. Previously, it was thought that Adams had to resume practicing this week if he was to have a shot at returning to the team’s 53-man roster this year as that was part of the PUP rules in the 2011 CBA.
Last week during his weekly press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin refused to update the status of Adams, who has been sidelined since having back surgery in late July. I doubt that Tomlin will have much to say about Adams during his Tuesday press conference if he doesn’t announce he will resume practicing this week.