The Arizona Cardinals announced three moves on Wednesday. They released undrafted receiver Kelsey Pope and placed safety Tyrann Mathieu and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list to start training camp.
The move will come as a disappointment to Mathieu, who has stated on multiple occasions he wishes to be able to at least do position drills with his teammates.
While on PUP, neither player can practice at all.
The move makes sense because it provides possible flexibility down the line. If they are not activated at all during camp, they will be eligible for the regular season PUP list, which would give the team a roster exemption for the first six weeks of the season, after which the team has two weeks to decide whether to activate the player or or place him on injured reserve.
While many expect both to be activated at some point during camp, there is a delicate balance to consider. If they have been activated and are not healthy enough to play to start the season, it means either burning a roster spot for a player that won't be ready to play for some time or placing them on injured reserve, which would either end the player's season or, for one of them, keep them out until at least Week 8.
As I said on the podcast with Seth Cox, I speculate that one (Ta'amu) will remain on PUP and start the season on it, too. Mathieu, though, will get activated and practice, rewarding him for his work and helping his psyche, as he desperately wants to play. Plus, in Dan Williams, the team has a solid player there at nose tackle. The team does not have a player similar to Mathieu.
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