The New England Patriots have placed four players on the active/PUP list, which should not be confused with the reserve/PUP list. The former is also called the preseason PUP list, because a player on the active/PUP list can be activated at any time during training camp. On the other hand, the reserve/PUP list causes a player to automatically miss the first six games of the regular season, and this is the tag that could be placed on tight end Rob Gronkowski.
For now, Gronk is one of four Patriots players on the active/PUP list, as he, Julian Edelman, fellow tight end Jake Ballard, and versatile interior offensive lineman Nick McDonald have been placed on the PUP to start training camp. Three of the four didn’t participate in offseason activities such as OTAs and minicamp, while Ballard was reportedly still limited during the offseason.
Edelman suffered a setback on the foot he broke late in the regular season, and I honestly thought he, McDonald, and Ballard would be good to go for camp. Ballard’s placement on the PUP list is a bit concerning, because it shows that his knee injury has been incredibly slow to heal. Reconstructive knee surgery is always severe, but Ballard was never an athletic TE to begin with so this might not bode well (still, it’s too early to overreact or anything). McDonald had offseason surgery that seemed to be minor, but it’s either something more or the Patriots just want to be cautious. As for Gronkowski, his placement on the active/PUP is obvious.
I have all four of these guys on my final roster without much of a doubt.