In what is in many ways simply a procedural move, and in most cases expected, the Patriots placed five players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and another four on the non-football injury (NFI) list on Monday according to the NFL's transaction wire. The designations, which can be lifted at any time, basically signify that the players did not pass their pre-training camp physicals upon reporting to Foxborough.
The group of PUP players included cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, wide receiver Aaron Dobson, rookie wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Dennard is recovering from a reported offseason knee procedure, Dobson from foot surgery, Kelly a torn ACL and Gallon missed time during spring practice to an unknown injury. Kelly had been on the field on a limited basis late in spring practice, while Gallon and Slater worked with the rehab players during those workouts. Neither Dennard nor Dobson had been seen on the field during OTAs or mini-camp.
The players placed on NFI included first-round defensive tackle Dominique Easley and a trio of undrafted players in running back Roy Finch, offensive lineman Chris Martin and linebacker Deontae Skinner. Easley is working back from a torn ACL suffered at Florida last September, but had been on the indoor practice field for drills during the last day of mini-camp in June.
Though it's not ideal for any players to open training camp with injuries, one positive is that Monday's list didn't include the likes of Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who's working back from ACL surgery and did not take part in spring practices. Nor does it include other players coming off injuries in 2013 like Jerod Mayo, Sebastian Vollmer or Vince Wilfork, all of whom took part in the bulk of workouts this spring.
Are you worried about the health of any of the players placed on PUP/NFI on Monday? Which player worries you the most? Let us know with a comment below!