I received an email asking why Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich was not placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start the season with his MCL injury. I was confused about this as well as it has been several years since I read up on it. Players must be placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp for not passing any part of their physical before they practice for the first time with the team. Once the player is cleared to practice, he can no longer be placed on the PUP list and if injured, must be placed on the injured reserve list, released with some sort of settlement or merely kept on the active roster. The Steelers had only one player not ready to practice at the start of camp this year and that was rookie Chris Scott, who was still recovering from offseason foot surgery. Scott stayed on the active PUP list until the first roster cuts a few days ago and then was placed on the reserve PUP list. He must now miss the first 6 weeks of the season and then the Steelers will have a 3 week window to activate him, release him or place him on injured reserve. The decision the Steelers made by keeping Leftwich on the 53 man roster likely means they are indeed convinced he can get back healthy in a few weeks. If they thought the injury would linger past the bye, it would of made more sense to place him on injured reserve. IR is still not out of the question early on as they also could be waiting for a second opinion before ending his season too hastily. I hope that clears up all the confusion concerning Leftwich and the PUP list.
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I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.