After originally announcing that cornerback Jalen Ramsey would begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, the Rams have changed their minds. Ramsey avoided PUP and is on the active roster, so he’ll be able to participate in on-field activities.
As NFL teams begin practice sessions, let’s take a look at the other key injury situations around the league and how potential absences will affect depth charts.
Rams CB Jalen Ramsey avoids PUP list
Ramsey underwent shoulder surgery in June, so he was fully expected to land on the PUP list to begin camp. Instead, L.A.’s decision-makers opted to let Ramsey get on the field, at least in a limited capacity.
“We ended up not putting Ramsey on the PUP as a result of doctors clearing him in a limited fashion that enables him to participate in a lot of the jog-throughs — the above the neck stuff — and to be able to have him out here with his teammates with all the different things that we ask of him,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said.
“He felt good about that. We felt good about that. So, I think that’s what’s best for our football team. That’s why we kind of pivoted in that direction.”
Ramsey and Aaron Donald are the centerpieces of Los Angeles’ defense. It’s unlikely the star cornerback will be asked to do much during camp, and the Rams never have their elite players participate in preseason games.
Bengals place Alex Cappa on PUP, La’el Collins on NFI
The Bengals spent the offseason revamping one of the league’s worst offensive lines, but two of those new additions will be unavailable for the start of camp. Cincinnati placed left guard Alex Cappa on the PUP list while right tackle La’el Collins is heading to the non-football injury (NFI list).
Cappa has been dealing with a core-muscle injury since May. At the time, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said Cappa should only miss a few weeks. But roughly two months later, he’s still not ready. Collins, meanwhile, is managing a back issue. Taylor expects both linemen to be ready for Week 1. But if they aren’t removed from their respective injured lists by the start of the season, they’ll be required to miss at least four games.
Cincinnati’s starting front five is much improved, but they don’t have much depth up front. If Cappa and Collins are sidelined, the Bengals will have to turn to Hakeem Adeniji and Isaiah Prince — the same RG/RT duo that got destroyed during Cincinnati’s playoff run.
In addition to Cappa, the Bengals placed four other players on the PUP list: LB Joe Bachie, DE Khalid Kareem, RB Samaje Perine, and S Brandon Wilson.
Colts send Darius Leonard to PUP
Darius Leonard will begin training camp on the PUP list after undergoing back surgery in June, the Colts announced this week. Leonard dealt with lower leg pain during the 2022 campaign after having ankle surgery the previous offseason, and Indy’s decision-makers are hoping his back surgery could alleviate those issues.
A three-time first-team All-Pro, Leonard signed a five-year, $98.25 million extension last August. He’s crucial for a Colts defense adjusting to new coordinator Gus Bradley. If Leonard misses regular-season action, Bobby Okereke and Zaire Franklin will be asked to pick up the slack in Indianapolis’ linebacker corps.
Tre’Davious White recovering from ACL tear
After tearing his ACL last November, Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is on the PUP list to begin training camp. At this point, it’s unclear whether White will be available for the start of the regular season, and Bills head coach Sean McDermott was coy regarding his CB1’s health.
“He’s on schedule with what the trainers are telling me he’s on schedule,” McDermott said. “I think he’s got a great look in his eye. I know what he’s working back towards. And really other than that, that’s all I can say.”
First-round rookie Kaiir Elam is the favorite to become Buffalo’s second corner, and he’ll become all the more important if White is sidelined to start the year. If White is out, Siran Neal and Dane Jackson — who have a combined nine NFL starts — will compete to start opposite Elam.
Lions first-round WR Jameson Williams heads to NFI
As expected, the Lions placed No. 12 overall pick Jameson Williams on the NFI list as he recovers from the ACL injury he suffered in the CFP National Championship Game. Williams, whom Detroit traded up to select, was never going to be ready for training camp given the timing of his injury. In June, offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said it was “going to be a challenge” for Williams to be available for Week 1.
In addition to Williams, the Lions also placed LB Natrez Patrick on NFI and EDGE Romeo Okwara, CB Jerry Jacobs, and EDGE Josh Paschal on PUP.
Chiefs place rookie WR Justyn Ross on IR
The Chiefs sent rookie receiver Justyn Ross, who has undergone two foot surgeries in the past calendar year, to injured reserve, meaning he won’t play a down in his rookie year. Ross posted 1,800+ yards and 17 total touchdowns over his first two seasons at Clemson, and that production — combined with his 6’4″, 205-pound stature — should have set him up to be a first-round pick.
However, injuries took their toll on Ross’ draft stock, and he eventually fell out of the draft entirely. Kansas City signed him as a UDFA, but they won’t see him on the field again until at least 2023.