ESPN’s Mike Reiss is reporting that the New England Patriots have placed wide receiver Wes Welker on the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Welker, whose recovery from February surgery to repair a torn left ACL and MCL has been on schedule, is eligible to come off the list at any time. This is not a negative setback, Welker’s recovery remains on schedule, and all signs point to Welker being ready to start the regular season on the active roster. This appears to be just a procedural move to allow the Patriots some roster flexibility by freeing up a roster spot, allowing them to keep another body around for the start of training camp.
In addition to Welker, the Patriots placed third-year outside linebacker Shawn Crable, who has been plagued by injuries over his first two seasons, both of which he ended up on injured reserve, and rookie defensive lineman Kade Weston, who is dealing with a knee injury from college, on the active/physically unable to perform list.
By placing the players on the active/PUP list, the Patriots leave open the possibility that Welker, Crable and Weston could ultimately land on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The reserve/PUP list is different than the active/PUP list in that a player would be forced to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season. On a positive note, all three players are eligible to come off the active/PUP list at any time during training camp, which begins on Thursday July 29th.