FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have removed five players from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list - DB Randall Gay, S Rodney Harrison, C Dan Koppen, DL Richard Seymour and DL Johnathan Sullivan. Additionally, the Patriots announced that veteran safety Mel Mitchell(arm) and rookie wide receiver Matt Shelton (knee/groin) have been placed on the reserve/injured list and as a result will miss the remainder of the 2006 season.
Harrison, 33, a defensive co-captain, missed most of the 2005 season after sustaining a knee injury in a game at Pittsburgh on Sept. 25, 2005. The 6-foot-1-inch, 220-pound safety started the first three games of the 2005 season before being placed on injured reserve on Sept. 27. Harrison is entering his 13th NFL season and is in his fourth season with the Patriots after signing with New England as a free agent on March 12, 2003. The Western Illinois product has played in 158 NFL games with 132 starts and is the only player in NFL history to record at least 25 sacks and at least 30 interceptions. Harrison enters the 2006 season with 27.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in his regular-season career. His 27.5 sacks are the highest total by a defensive back in NFL history. Since joining the Patriots, Harrison has started six playoff games, during which he recorded a total of six interceptions as New England won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. In each of his two full seasons with the Patriots, Harrison has led the team in tackles, totaling 140 tackles in 2003 and 138 tackles in 2004.
Seymour, 26, a defensive co-captain, has earned a Pro Bowl berth in each of the last four seasons (2002-05) and has been named to the Associated Press All-Pro team in each of the last three years (2003-05). The 6-foot-6-inch, 310-pound defensive lineman is the first Patriot to earn as many as four straight Pro Bowl selections since tight end Ben Coates was named to five straight from 1994-98. Seymour's four Pro Bowl berths are the most by a Patriots defensive lineman since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. In 2005, Seymour returned from an injury with eight games remaining in the season and helped the Patriots to allow just 14.8 points per game over that span while recording a 6-2 record and claiming their third straight AFC East title. The Georgia product was selected by the Patriots with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft.
Koppen, 26, and Gay, 24, were both placed on injured reserve on Nov. 15, 2005 and missed the final seven games of the 2005 regular season and both 2005 playoff contests. Koppen, a 6-foot-2-inch, 296-pound center, had started 46 straight games for New England before sustaining a shoulder injury in a game at Miami on Nov. 13, 2005. The Boston College product was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (164th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft and helped the Patriots average more than four yards per carry in 2004, the first time the team had achieved the feat in 19 seasons. Gay, a 5-foot-11-inch, 190-pound defensive back started two of five games last season before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. The LSU product was signed as a rookie free agent on April 29, 2004 and that season started more games than any other New England rookie (including all three playoff games) and was the Patriots' leading tackler in Super Bowl XXXIX with 11 stops.
Sullivan, 25, was acquired by the Patriots from the New Orleans Saints on June 6, 2006 in exchange for wide receiver Bethel Johnson. The 6-foot-3-inch, 315-pound defensive lineman has played in 36 NFL games with 17 starts since being selected by the Saints in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Mitchell, 27, is in his fifth NFL season and was signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on April 4, 2006. The 6-foot-1-inch, 225-pound safety has played in 44 career games and has recorded 64 special teams tackles. The Western Kentucky product was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft and spent the first four seasons of his career with the Saints. In 2004, he recorded a career-high 29 special teams tackles and was named to Sports Illustrated's All-Pro Team as a special teams player.
Shelton, 24, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 8, 2006. The 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver attended Notre Dame, where he played in 46 games over four seasons (2002-05) and finished his collegiate career ranked sixth in Notre Dame history by averaging 18.9 yards per reception.