On Saturday, the NFL transactions wire showed that the Kansas City Chiefs have placed four players on its physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list: wide receiver Justyn Ross, cornerback Rashad Fenton and offensive tackles Lucas Niang and Prince Tega Wanogho.
Ross, Fenton and Niang were not a surprise. On Friday — during his opening press appearance at the team’s training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri — head coach Andy Reid said that all three would be placed on PUP.
But after Saturday’s first practice with rookies and quarterbacks, Reid said that Tega Wanogho had been working with trainers on a “leg issue.” At the time, Reid didn’t make it clear exactly what that meant. Had the third-year player simply been held out of Saturday’s practice with a minor problem, or was something more serious going on? Tega Wanogho’s PUP designation suggests that it could be the latter.
Players added to the training camp PUP list (officially called the Active/PUP list) may resume practicing as soon as they are medically cleared by team doctors. Until then, they remain on the team’s 90-man roster, can attend meetings and work with the team’s trainers.
If a player is still on Active/PUP on the final cutdown day before the regular season, they must be medically cleared back to the roster, waived (or released), put on the in-season Reserve/PUP list (where they must stay through the first six weeks of the season) or the Reserve/Injured (injured reserve) list, from which they can start the process of getting back on the field after the team has played four games.
Players on both of those Reserve lists do not count against the in-season roster.
But remember: players can only be on Reserve/PUP if they are placed on Active/PUP before training camp begins. (All four of the players put on Active/PUP on Saturday meet this test). Furthermore, players may not be designated for the Reserve/Injured list (and be eligible to be returned to the roster that season) unless they are on the team’s opening 53-man squad.
Also on Saturday’s transactions wire: Kansas City has released wide receiver Matthew Sexton. He was waived with an injury designation in mid-June — but after clearing waivers, the team put him on its Reserve/Injured list. He was waived again on Friday — and again cleared the process. This time, the Chiefs terminated his contract.