The 2021 NFL regular season is around the corner, teams are making their final cuts, and rosters are finally taking shape.
With football comes injuries, and this year is no different. It has already been reported that several big names will start the 2021 season on the "Physically Unable to Perform" list, otherwise known as the PUP list.
During a team's training camp and preseason, a player can be put on the PUP list for football-related injuries at any time without penalty. That means that teams are able to add a player back to their active roster at any time. While a player is on the PUP list, he may participate in team meetings, and use team training and medical facilities, but can't practice.
However, those rules are different once the regular season begins. If a player is designated for the PUP list at the start of the season, the NFL's rules dictate that he must sit out for at least six weeks. Then, teams will have a window of five weeks to decide whether that player can start practicing. If he does not practice within those five weeks, or isn't activated to the 53-man roster within 21 days after he begins practicing again, the player will have the stay placed on the PUP list for the rest of the season.
Here are some NFL stars that reportedly will start the 2021 regular season placed on the PUP list:
Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints)
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas reportedly is expected to be sidelined for the start of the 2021 NFL regular season.
Thomas underwent foot surgery in June and now will be kept on the PUP list as it calls for a four-month recovery. He will miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
David Bakhtiari (Green Bay Packers)
Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari will also reportedly be kept on the PUP list for the start of the 2021 season.
Bakhtiari will miss at least the first six weeks after tearing his ACL during practice last season in December. Though there was hope that he would be ready for the entirety of the 2021 season, Bakhtiari clearly needs more time to recover from last year's late-season injury.
Stephon Gilmore (New England Patriots)
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore will also reportedly start the season on the PUP list. Per the league's rules, Gilmore won't be eligible to return until Week 7 at the earliest.
Gilmore was placed on injured reserve with a partially torn quad last December. While he was still rehabbing the injury this summer, Gilmore didn't participate in any training camp practices or preseason games.