Had a lot of email and twitter questions today about the difference between LB Thomas Davis' and RT Jeff Otah's PUP (physically unable to perform) status.
At the beginning of camp, if players aren't ready to go, the team will stick them on the active-PUP list. This is largely a paperwork maneuver, as they can be activated at any time, and they still count against the 80-man roster limit.
What Davis went on Tuesday was the reserve-PUP list, which makes him ineligible for the first six weeks.
After that time, there's a three-week window for the player to start practicing. Once he starts practicing, there's another three weeks before they have to decide whether to cut a player to make room for him or end his season by putting him on IR.
Thus, Davis could be activated as soon as late October, but more likely no sooner than mid-November (if everything follows best case scenario trajectory).
They put him on the reserve-PUP list to buy themselves a roster spot in the short term, but mostly to protect his ability to come back if he continues to progress.
As unlikely as coming back from two torn ACLs in eight months might be, the fact Davis hasn't been shut down is a telling sign. He might not be able to play again this year, but the simple possibility is enough for him, so he's continuing to rehab like a man on his way back soon.
Speaking of signs and comebacks, we're less than two weeks from the opener, and there's still no evidence of Otah on the practice field. That tells me the chances of him playing on Sept. 12 in New York are getting slim, and the Panthers better be prepared to live with Geoff Schwartz for a week or two.
Otah had his left knee scoped on Aug. 4, and the thought was he'd be back on the field in a month.
If they thought it was going to be six weeks, they'd have put him on reserve-PUP with Davis. Since they didn't, it appears they're bracing for no more than a couple of weeks without their powerful strong-side blocker.
-- Darin Gantt