Today's news that the Patriots have placed receiver Wes Welker on the active/physically unable to perform list, along with outside linebacker Shawn Crable, has produced some follow-up questions.
What would be the rationale for the team to put Welker on the active/PUP list and then possibly activate him in the coming days?
What's the deal with the injury-riddled Crable?
The hope is that those answers come to the forefront soon and more clarity is added to the team's decision-making process. Until then, the thought was to paint a picture as to what usually takes place with the team at this time on the calendar, which might ultimately help answer some of the above questions.
Rookies reported to the facility on Sunday. In past years, players who ended the previous season on injured reserve, or had offseason injuries, also reported early. The rest of the veterans are due in town Wednesday.
So one assumes that Welker and Crable are already at Gillette Stadium, part of the group of players who ended last year on injured reserve. Upon arrival, they would have to be cleared medically and possibly put through the conditioning test.
The reasons to place them on PUP would include:
1. Something coming up in the medical evaluation.
2. Not making weight or failing the conditioning test.
3. Not reporting to the stadium by the required date.
4. Specific to Welker, a decision by head coach Bill Belichick that even if he is ready to practice, there is no need to rush him back. Belichick also might want more time to make a final decision on the best course of action going forward, and in buying that time, Welker wouldn't practice so he would technically be placed on the active/PUP list.
These were a few thoughts that came to mind today on the PUP news.
While Welker's placement on the PUP list was expected in some circles, Crable's inclusion is unexpected. The 2008 third-round draft choice has yet to play in a regular-season game for the team, primarily because of injuries, and it's hard to imagine this was the start he was looking for in 2010.