Three guys who figure to be key contributors to the Patriots offense this season – Rob Gronkowski, Jake Ballard and Julian Edelman – were officially placed on the team’s active/physically unable to perform list on Tuesday.
By placing the players on the PUP list, it means they are not yet cleared to practice when camp gets underway on Friday.
Gronkowski is still recovering from multiple surgeries on his forearm this offseason, as well as problems with his back. Gronk missed five games during the 2012 season after breaking his forearm, an injury that required four surgeries to repair.
Ballard hasn’t played in a game since undergoing ACL and microfracture surgery in February of 2012 and was limited during spring camp. With Aaron Hernandez long gone, Ballard could get a lot of snaps at tight end if he can stay healthy, and especially if Gronk isn’t reading to go by the start of the season.
Edelman is still rehabbing from surgery on the injured foot that ended his 2012 season prematurely. He did not participate in spring camp.
Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any time so its possible we’ll see at least some of these guys in action before Week 1.