3 Chiefs players who could open up training camp on PUP list

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When the Kansas City Chiefs rookies, quarterbacks and injured players report to training camp on Friday, July 22nd, there will likely be a few transactions made to add players to the active/PUP list.

This is done for players who are deemed physically unable to participate in training camp due to a football-related injury. Players who are placed on the active/PUP list can participate in Chiefs’ team meetings, do solo conditioning and work with the team training staff. They’re simply prohibited from practicing with the team while they remain on the PUP list. Players who are on the active/PUP list count against the 90-man offseason roster and they can be activated from the PUP list at any time during training camp.

If a player were to remain on the PUP list through training camp they’ll be sent to the reserve/PUP list to start the season. From there players now have to wait for just four regular-season games to elapse before they can return to practice. Once they return to practice, the team will then have a 21-day window to activate the player to the 53-man roster. If a player isn’t activated during that window, the Chiefs will be forced to place them on injured reserve.

There are three particular players who look like they could be heading for a stay on the active/PUP list at the onset of the 2022 Chiefs training camp. Here is a quick look at each:

RT Lucas Niang

AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Niang suffered a torn patellar tendon in Week 17 of last season and is the most likely candidate for the active/PUP list. He was a non-participant in OTAs and mandatory minicamp practices, which was expected.

The most recent timeline we received from the team came after Niang flew in to have an MRI done. Brett Veach suggested the progress that Niang made had been good, but that he was unlikely to be ready to go at the start of training camp.

“With the bigger guys, you’re always worried about, especially with that injury — I’ll certainly defer to Rick, but just in general his timeline, Rick was excited about the degrees of flexion and flexibility,” Veach said. “It was a check-plus, so that means that it was where it needed to be. He’s right on schedule. And again, I don’t know if Rick had mentioned this, and at a certain point, he will. I think (Niang being ready) by the end of training camp is something that could happen, but he’s definitely on target to where he needs to be.”

It seems like the end of training camp is a possibility, but it’s equally possible that he starts on the active/PUP list and ends up on the reserve/PUP list to start the year.

WR Justyn Ross

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Ross was absent from the team’s mandatory minicamp, but the Chiefs never revealed the reason why. They’re not required to report injuries at that point in the offseason program. Many feared the worst for Ross, who has seen injuries limit his success during his college career. Unfortunately, it appears as if his absence was injury-related.

Arrowhead Report’s Zack Eisen shared recent photos of Ross from Instagram where he was seen using a walking boot and stroller on his left foot, which is the same foot that was injured last season at Clemson.

If this is the same injury from college it’s possible that the Chiefs put Ross on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. It’s similar to the PUP list, but it clarifies that the injury happened outside of his time in the NFL. It’s an important distinction to make when it comes to contract disputes related to injury guarantees. If this is a new injury, Ross would likely be placed on the active/PUP list to start camp.

CB Rashad Fenton

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

After the 2022 NFL draft, Chiefs GM Brett Veach revealed that Rashad Fenton was dealing with rehab after having what he believed to be offseason shoulder surgery. We’ve not received an updated timeline for Fenton since then, but Veach said they were hoping he’d be ready for the start of training camp. Fenton was absent from both OTAs and mandatory minicamp, so it’s hard to say whether he’s tracking to be ready for training camp. If he’s not ready it stands to reason that the team would place him on the active/PUP list, if only for a short period of time.

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