Training camp will begin for the Patriots on Thursday, and there are a handful of important players who won’t get going right away.
New England’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list was reported Thursday, with wide receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Kenny Britt, as well as cornerback Cyrus Jones, among the players on it.
The players on the list can be activated at any time, but given Mitchell and Jones’ ailments are lingering, there obviously is some reasonable curiosity regarding when exactly they’ll return.
Mitchell’s case has been a compelling one, with a knee injury keeping him out of action all last season. Because of that, the lasting memory of him is his impactful performance in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LI victory, in which he made six catches for 70 yards as a rookie.
But according to the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels, things beyond training camp look a bit grim for the 25-year-old.
Here’s more of a timeline on a potential decision regarding Mitchell, via the Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy.
It obviously would be most beneficial for the Patriots if Mitchell is healthy at some point before the season starts, seeing as they reportedly are shopping him given the slew of options they have at the position.
In Britt’s case, the news is far more promising.
The 29-year-old was performing well at OTAs in the spring, but his practices were cut short after he tweaked his hamstring. But it appears that won’t be a long-term concern and shouldn’t keep him sidelined well into camp, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Jones, like Mitchell, missed all of last season after the cornerback tore his ACL during the preseason. He possibly could be an option as a kick returner — especially with Danny Amendola’s departure and Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension — but he would need to be far more reliable in order to be used in that regard.
That said, Howe noted a return to the gridiron may come soon for the 24-year-old, under one condition.
There are no shortage of positional battles in Pats training camp this season, with all three of the above players being involved in some particularly stiff battles. And even though much remains up in the air regarding each players’ respective health, the situation surrounding the trio should become far clearer in the coming days.
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