On Tuesday, the 2016 Green Bay Packers take the practice field for the formal opening of training camp. While the majority of the team's roster expects to participate, several important players including wide receiver Jordy Nelson will begin camp on the PUP list.
Though Nelson's name certainly garners most of the attention, the Packers will also begin camp without the services of starting offensive linemen T.J. Lang and Corey Linsley, inside linebacker Sam Barrington, and pass catchers Ty Montgomery and Jared Cook.
Late last season, Nelson claimed that he could have returned from his ACL tear to play in Super Bowl 50 had the Packers qualified. Though that claim always seemed somewhat dubious, it looks even less reasonable now given his PUP designation. Still, Green Bay has given every indication that Nelson should return to full participation well before the regular season.
Likewise, Barrington and Montgomery's trip to the PUP list doesn't come as a surprise. The linebacker missed all of minicamp while recovering from the foot injury that ended his 2015 season after one game while the wideout endured ankle trouble that limited him to just six games as a rookie. Cook had a foot injury of his own earlier this offseason, but the team has previously suggested the tight end should return before the start of the season.
The news with Lang and Linsley presents a few more questions, however. Lang played last season with two bad shoulders last year before undergoing surgery on at least one and possibly both this offseason. His contract expires after the upcoming season. As for Linsley, injuries limited him to just 13 games in 2015, but the team gave no indication before this week that he continued to deal with health concerns. Head coach Mike McCarthy first hinted that Linsley might have not hit the ground running at a press conference earlier on Monday. Of the two, Linsley appears closer to hitting the field, according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo.
Teams can put players on the PUP list at the start of training camp and activate them any time before the regular season. Once the season arrives, players still listed as physically unable to perform must sit out at least the first six weeks before a window of activation opens.