NFL players on the PUP List are paid their full base salary. An NFL player’s contract will not be tolled while on the PUP unless he is in the final year of his deal. He cannot perform football activities until the sixth NFL regular season game and is not activated during that regular season or the postseason.
Several myths about the physically unable to perform list require dispelling; we will do that in this piece.
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What is the NFL Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List?
The physically unable to perform list, short for PUP, is a designation for players who cannot perform football activities due to football-related injuries. Players affected can participate in team activities but are not allowed to practice.
There are two types of PUP lists, namely:
- The Active/PUP list, and
- The Reserve/PUP list
1. The Active/PUP list
Players are placed on the Active/Physically unable to perform list during training camp and count toward a team’s 90-man roster. Players can be removed from the list anytime during camp but can’t be placed back on the list. As of final roster cutdowns, players on this list must be placed on the Reserve/PUP, traded, released, or counted against the 53-man roster.
2. The Reserve/PUP list
As for the Reserve/Physically unable to perform list, franchises must decide by the 53-man roster cutdown deadline whether to place the player on this list. Players placed on the Reserve/Physically unable to perform list at that time must miss at least the franchise’s first four games, down from six in seasons before 2022.
What is the difference between the PUP List and IR in the NFL?
First, PUP stands for Physically Unable to Perform, while IR stands for Injured Reserve.
A player on the Active/Physically unable to perform list throughout training camp may be moved to the Reserve/Physically unable to perform list if he isn’t cleared to play by the end of the preseason.
It bans him from participating in practice and games for the first six weeks of the NFL season. Players can only be placed on the regular-season Physically Unable to Perform List if they spent the entire summer on the Active/Physically unable to perform list and never participated in a game or practice with their team.
On the other hand, at the beginning of the season, NFL teams are allowed to list any number of players on Injured Reserve. Every player on the IR list counts toward the salary cap but not toward the 53-man roster restriction.
An athlete on the IR cannot play for the same team again during the respective season, but they are still free to be cut and signed with another after release. Although they cannot practice with their squad anytime, these players can be present during team meetings.