Welker To Start Camp on PUP

The New England Patriots have opted to place WR Wes Welker on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. According to reports, Welker, LB Shawn Crable and DL Kade Weston will all begin camp on the active/PUP list -- a move that allows them to rejoin the team at any time before the start of the regular season.

WR Wes Welker, LB Shawn Crable and DL Kade Weston will begin Patriots training camp on the sidelines as members of the active/PUP list. Reports Tuesday morning surfaced that the team is expected to place all three on the PUP list for the beginning of camp.

The news on Welker comes as a mild surprise to those who believed reports that Welker's rehab was going well enough for him to begin camp on the active roster. While the move to put him on PUP doesn't mean Welker will start the season on the PUP list, it is clearly an indication that the team wants him to take more time to recover.

Welker's addition to the PUP list is no cause for panic. Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi even Richard Seymour began training camp as members of the PUP list following their injuries. Harrison's injury, suffered in a game against the Steelers in late October, is perhaps one of the better examples of the type of timeframe required to return from Welker's injury. Harrison re-joined his teammates roughly midway through camp, wearing a knee brace to prevent further injury.

The news that Crable will begin camp on PUP could be a concern. The former Michigan defender has had difficulty staying out of the trainer's room since joining the team. His rookie season was lost to injury, as was his sophomore campaign. With more linebackers selected in this year's Draft, competition will be intense for roles within the group. Crable, a third round pick (78th overall) in 2008, has no career statistics for the Patriots on defense. Regarded as a pass rushing force that could fit well in the Patriots' 3-4 defense, Crable has been unable to showcase his talents on the big stage.

Weston was selected in the seventh round (248th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The former Georgia product appeared in 48 games with 20 starts for the Bulldogs.

Players on the active/PUP list are eligible to begin practicing with the team at any time. They do not count against the 80 man roster limit until they are activated. Players not activated for the start of the regular season must sit out the first six weeks of the regular season before they can return.

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