Players can be labeled Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) in the National Football League if they suffer from football-related injuries during the preseason. PUP players may participate in team meetings, and take advantage of the training and medical facilities, but cannot practice with the team.

There are two separate PUP lists: a preseason PUP list and a regular-season PUP list.

Preseason PUP

A player who, as a result of football-related injuries, is unable to take part in training camp practices may be assigned to the preseason PUP list. Players can be moved off the PUP list to the active roster at any time, even after one practice. A player cannot be placed on the PUP list, however, once he has taken the field for a practice, even if only for a few minutes.

Regular-Season PUP

A player who finishes the preseason still on the PUP list can then be placed on the regular-season PUP list. Such players must sit out the first six games their team plays. At that point, teams have a three-week window in which to allow the player to begin practicing; from the day the player begins practicing, teams have an additional three-week window in which to decide whether to activate the player to the 53-man roster. If either of those deadlines pass, the player must remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.[1]

Non-Football Injury

A similar list, known as the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list, is functionally equivalent to PUP, but is used for players who are unable to practice as a result of conditions unrelated to football. For example, New England Patriots tackle Marcus Cannon began his rookie season on the NFI list as he recovered from chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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