Two New England Patriots defensive starters currently are set to begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive tackle Alan Branch were placed on the PUP list Monday, according to the NFL’s transaction wire. Patriots undrafted rookie offensive lineman Andrew Jelks also was placed on the non-football injury list Monday.
Hightower and Branch were present for the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp but didn’t participate in drills with their teammates. Hightower reportedly was present for organized team activities, as well, but wasn’t spotted during practice. Branch skipped the voluntary OTA sessions.
Jelks was spotted during one OTA session but was absent for the remainder of spring practices. He missed consecutive college seasons with a twice-torn ACL at Vanderbilt.
All three players can come off the lists at any time, including before training camp practices begin Thursday. They still count against the Patriots’ 90-man roster, which currently has an open spot.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images