3 chiefs who could start 2021 at PUP – and how it can affect others

Wednesdays mailbag edition of Arrowhead Pride Out of structure podcast, Matt Stagner and I asked a question concerning the list Physically unable to perform – and which Kansas City Chiefs players could be candidates to start the season on it.

PUP is for players entering training camp with an injury. They can be activated from the list and start practicing, but they are not eligible to return to the list once they have participated in at least one exercise. If a player remains on the reserve / PUP list through the preseason and into the normal season, they do not count in an active list – but they must be inactive for the first six weeks.

After these six weeks, the team has five weeks to get the player back on the training field. When it starts, the team must put him on the active list, give him up or put him on injured reserve. This decision must be made within three weeks of his first practice.

Matt and I discussed three players who are candidates for PUP – and how other players on the list can benefit from the available list:

Cornerback DeAndre Baker

According to Kansas City Star’s Sam McDowell, Baker was a player who participated in mandatory minicamp but did not participate in practice.

As he recovers from the last broken leg last season, Baker could be a player not ready to contribute immediately in 2021. If he is unable to practice, it would leave an already depleted position even more undermined.

No one really benefits from the Chiefs being thin on an important position, but last year’s seventh-round pick BoPete Keyes could be the biggest recipient. In my current projection, I have him off the 53-man list – but if Baker is not available, he would be the next man up.

Offensive lineman Kyle Long

After trying his football comeback after a year of retirement, Long unfortunate leg injury could also make him a first candidate for the PUP.

It has been reported that he may be ready when the season starts – but with his long-term injury problems, they can give him the six weeks to fully recover and give him the chance to feel as good as possible for the stretch in 2021.

On the flip side, his stay at PUP would allow other players to step up on the right guard and right tackle. Players like Andrew Wylie and Nick Allegretti could possibly earn the roster spot that Long would leave by being at PUP. If the Chiefs become familiar with the device they have without Long, there may be a case for Long to be cut directly.

Defensive lineman Malik Herring

Herring torn ACL damage below Senior bowl week guarantees anything but that he needs a red-haired year during his rookie NFL season – in the hopes that he will be able to place the list by 2022.

That equates to the defensive end of Tim Ward’s situation in 2019, where a college injury forced him to be on the PUP and injured reserve throughout his first year.

Silde’s potential to be on the PUP does not necessarily open a roster for anyone else – if he were healthy he might not have made the 53-man list – but this gives him the opportunity to become familiar with the Chiefs’ system and compete for a list position next season.


Weigh in with your answers below!


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