When the Kansas City Chiefs rookies, quarterbacks and injured players report to training camp on Tuesday, July 18, players who are unable to clear their physical will be added players to the active/PUP list.
When a player is placed on the active/PUP list, they still count toward the 90-man offseason roster. They’re permitted to participate in Chiefs’ team meetings, do solo conditioning and work with the team training staff. However, they’re prohibited from practicing with the team so long as they remain on the PUP list. They can be activated at any time during training camp, but things get tricky once we arrive at 53-man roster cuts.
If a player were to remain on the PUP list through training camp they’ll be sent to the reserve/PUP list to start the season. From there, they’ll have to wait for four regular-season games to elapse before the team can open their practice window. Once they return to practice, the team will then have a 21-day window to activate the player to the 53-man roster. If said player isn’t activated during that window, the Chiefs will be forced to place them on injured reserve.
This year, there are three particular players who look like they could be heading for a stay on the active/PUP list at the onset of the 2023 Chiefs training camp. Here is a quick look at each:
Wharton was really the only major injury the Chiefs suffered last season, with a season-ending ACL tear in Week 5 against the Las Vegas Raiders. He has yet to participate in the offseason workout program and it’s possible that he won’t be ready to get back on the field at the start of training camp.
Ligament injuries are difficult for both offensive linemen and defensive linemen to deal with as bigger bodies. Typically, players in those positions tend to have a slightly longer timeline in terms of recovery and return to play.
Wharton, however, is a very impressive athlete, which could benefit the timeline. The updates on his recovery have been sparing, but they’ve all been positive.
Our friends at Rutgers Wire broke the news this offseason that Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco played through Super Bowl LVII with a broken hand and a torn labrum (shoulder). Pacheco had surgery to repair both injuries shortly after the big game. While the hand injury appears to be recovered, it sounds as if the shoulder will keep him off the field into training camp.
The Athletic’s Nate Taylor reported last month that the team hopes to have Pacehco back on the field by the middle of training camp. Unless he’s ahead of schedule, it very much so sounds like Pacheco could start camp on the active/PUP list.
We don’t have a lot of details on what’s going on with Sneed’s knee, but we do know this is an injury that was flaring up at the end of the 2022 NFL season and postseason. It’s a weight-bearing joint, which means that even day-to-day activities outside of football can contribute to issues. If he had a procedure to clean something up during the offseason or he’s dealing with inflammation and swelling from an injury, it’s possible that he wouldn’t be able to pass a physical examination.
As the team’s top cornerback, they’ll likely proceed cautiously. Even with the depth of talent at the position, Sneed proved to be a player who could travel with a team’s top receiver in 2022. That’s the type of talent that you want on the field when the games begin to count.