With Training Camp scheduled to begin next Wednesday, Patriots players have begun reporting to Gillette Stadium with today's transaction wire indicating that five veterans will begin the summer on the Physically Unable to Perform list. They are eligible to return at any time, however, if they remain on the list through the end of summer they can stay there through the first six weeks of the season without costing a roster spot.
David Andrews, Jonathan Jones, Raekwon McMillan, Jabrill Peppers and James White were the players placed on the PUP list at the outset of camp. McMillan and Peppers both tore their ACLs last year, while James White continues to recover from a hip injury. David Andrews and Jonathan Jones are recuperating from shoulder surgeries.
All five players could be expected to play significant roles with the team this season, if healthy. McMillan's injury came early last preseason but he showed enough to earn a new contract with the team. He was among the top starting linebacker options for the defense during OTA work.
Long-time Pats vets Andrews, Jones and White have been among the team's most valuable contributors over recent seasons. Peppers is the lone newcomer on the list and is another versatile safety who can play a variety of roles, adding intrigue to a strong position group.
While those familiar with the Patriots system shouldn't be hampered by some early missed sessions, the return of McMillan and Peppers sooner than later would provide a nice boost for the defense and help them master the scheme before getting too far behind.
The PUP'd fivesome joins rookies Andrew Stueber and Chasen Hines, who were placed on the NFI list earlier this week.