Williams heads PUP list

Oakland Raiders tight end Roland Williams is one of four Raiders placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Thursday.

            The Oakland Raiders placing tight end Roland Williams on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) Thursday was no shock but it was a minor surprise that he wound up with company.

            The Raiders, who arrived in Napa, CA, for their 23-day training camp stint Thursday, also placed center Barret Robbins, tight end Mondriel Fulcher and cornerback Clarence Love on that list. Oakland also placed linebacker Travian Smith on the no-football injury (NFI) list.

            The PUP is not the same as injured reserve, meaning a player cannot return even if he is physically healthy enough to do so. The PUP format is that if these individuals are not ready by the time the Raiders trim the roster to 65 players, Oakland can either extend their respective stints the PUP list through the sixth week of the regular season, taking them through the Oct. 12 game at Cleveland. At that point, there is a three-week practice window before either returning to the 53-man roster or end the season on injured reserve.

            The decision on Williams was not entirely surprising since his season ended on injured reserve after sustaining a serious knee injury that required surgery. Williams, who had already been playing despite a turf toe injury throughout last season, tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee, partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament and sustained some meniscus damage. Williams, optimistically speaking would have been ready by the end of training camp.

            For Robbins, the decision is yet another hurdle in an already difficult road in getting back to the good graces of the team. Besides trying to regain teammates' respect after his well-documented Super Bowl disappearance, Robbins is also recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

            "He has made progress but to the degree of playing full speed in scrimmage type football, I do not think he was ready just yet," Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said of Robbins. "There is some precautionary measure. I think you have to look at it from the aspect that it is a football injury. It was dealt with surgically and he is in the process of rehabilitation so I look at that in an isolated way and I'm sure everyone else on this team does."

            Fulcher spent last season on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury in training camp. Fulcher, however, is on the PUP list because of undergoing abdominal surgery. Love, meanwhile, is on the PUP because of an ankle injury. Callahan added that Love's injury is not severe but has also not progressed as quick as anticipated.

            Smith is on the NFI list because he sprained his ankle last month in a non-football related manner. Callahan indicated the injury might have taken place while Smith was playing basketball but he anticipates Smith being ready in about one week.

           Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com


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