The New England Patriots underwent physicals and equipment fittings this weekend upon arrival at Gillette Stadium.
By Sunday night, running back Sony Michel, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and special-teams linebacker Brandon King were placed on the physically unable to perform list.
Do the math. This isn’t about improperly fitting shoulder pads.
Michel (foot) and Sanu (ankle) both underwent offseason surgeries. King tore his quad last summer and spent the 2019 season on injured reserve.
But what does this mean for Michel, Sanu and King’s futures? Not a whole lot. All three players can come off of PUP at any time this summer. They will count against the Patriots’ 80-man roster while on PUP unless they’re transferred to PUP/reserve, in which case their seasons would be over, based on NFL rules, assuming those don’t change because of the coronavirus pandemic. Once Michel, Sanu or King return to practice, they’ll need to be removed from the PUP list.
If they start the season on the PUP list, then a five-week window to begin practicing begins after Week 6. Once a player returns to practice, his team has a 21-day window to activate him. Once again, that’s according to past seasons and assuming things will not change because of the pandemic. Injured reserve rules have been lessened this season. There has been no word about lessening PUP rules.
Michel is backed up by Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris on the running back depth chart. Sanu will be competing for a starting wide receiver spot this summer with N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, Gunner Olszewski, Jeff Thomas, Devin Ross, Quincy Adeboyejo and Will Hastings to play alongside Julian Edelman. King has been one of the Patriots’ best special teams players since entering the NFL in 2015. He’s never taken a regular-season defensive snap.