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How Does The NFL's PUP List Work? Rules Explained

Find out what it means when an NFL player is sent to the PUP list.

With NFL training camps starting up, the dreaded PUP list will soon become a regular noun in football vocabulary once again. When an NFL player is sent to the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, it doesn't mean the player is completely done. Instead there's a process players go through to get back to playing.

To learn more about that process and the different acronyms used, we've broken it down:

What is the PUP List?

Players who start the preseason on the PUP list may not practice until cleared by team medical personnel. They can attend team meetings and work out. Once cleared, they can return to the field.

If a player practices during training camp, they are not eligible for the PUP list. Instead, the team has to cut the player or put them on injured reserve. 

If a player finishes preseason on the PUP list, they can be placed on the regular season PUP list.

Players on the PUP list may not practice or play the first six weeks of the season. After the sixth week, the player must be allowed to return to practice, placed on injured reserved or released within five weeks.

If the player returns to practice, the team has three weeks to decide to place him on the active roster or on the injured reserve list.

Players on the PUP list do not count aginst the 53-man roster, but do count against the 90-man roster limit.

What is the NFI List?

The non-football injury list is for players who suffer an injury not related to NFL football or and keeps players from practicing at the start of training camp. The NFI covers injuries sustained during a player's final college football season.

The rules on when a player on the NFI can get back to the field are the same as for those on the PUP list.

But if cleared from the NFI or PUP list, players can't go back on the list. The player will have to be cut or placed on the injured reserve list.

What is the Injured Reserve List?

The injured-reserve list is for players who suffer a serious injury that will keep them off the field for a long time — at least six weeks.

Teams can now return two players from injured reserve once he's spent at least eight weeks on the inactive list.

Who is already on the PUP list this season?

After suffering a serious spine injury in Week 14 of last season, ​Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has been placed on the PUP list this year.

Here's a full look at all players starting the season on the list:

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier

Saints running back Daniel Lasco

Bears tight end Zach Miller

Patriots wide receiver Kenny Britt

Patriots safety Nate Ebner

Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones

Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones

Colts guard Jeremy Vujnovich

Colts safety Malik Hooker

Colts safety Clayton Geathers

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery

Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham

Eagles special teamer Chris Maragos

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor