It is fitting that during such an unusual offseason, the focus of the football discussion is on the non-traditional. The primary storylines that we have been following lately are the number of players who are either put on the reserve/Covid-19 list, meaning they may have potentially tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as those who have chosen to opt out of playing during the 2020 season over health concerns for themselves and their family.
But there are other things going on, too. Players are beginning what is the equivalent of Phase One of the offseason program, which almost exclusively consists of strength and conditioning work, with football coaches not permitted to be with the players at that time.
Another common sight for the start of training camp is season players put on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform List, which essentially is for players who report to training camp not in the shape that they should be. For many, this is due to injury. For others, they are simply out of condition.
Cleveland Browns’ Pro Bowl wide receiver, Jarvis Landry, who is entering his seventh season in the NFL and his third with the team since they originally acquired him via a trade in March of 2018, was one of the latest players to be placed on the Active PUP list.
In his case, however, it is due to injury—an old injury. He played through the entirety of the 2019 season with a groin injury, and it was only after participating in the Pro Bowl at the start of this year that he decided that he should have surgery to repair it. He is continuing to rehab that injury, which is the reason for his starting the Browns’ training camp as a spectator.
The Browns’ website does note that, while he is starting out on the PUP List, he “remains on schedule in his recovery”. It is perhaps worth noting that fellow wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., who also played through the 2019 season with a groin injury and had it repaired during the offseason, was not placed on the Active PUP List.
As a reminder, since it’s been a while since we’ve had to deal with this, the Active and Reserve PUP Lists are completely separate things, and a player under contract must spend the entirety of training camp on the Active PUP List to be eligible to be placed on the Reserve PUP List.
Once a player practices or participates in physical activity during training camp, he is ineligible to be placed on the Active PUP List, and is then ineligible to be placed on the Reserve PUP List. The latter pertains to the regular season, during which a player must spend at least the first six weeks of the season there, ineligible to practice or play. If he is ever activated from the Active PUP List during training camp, then he loses his eligibility for the Reserve PUP.