The Oakland Raiders placing tight end Roland Williams on the physically unable
to perform list (PUP) Thursday was no shock but it was a minor surprise that he
wound up with company.
The Raiders, who arrived in Napa, CA, for their 23-day training camp
stint Thursday, also placed center Barret Robbins, tight end Mondriel Fulcher
and cornerback Clarence Love on that list. Oakland also placed linebacker
Travian Smith on the no-football injury (NFI) list.
The PUP is not the same as injured reserve, meaning a player cannot
return even if he is physically healthy enough to do so. The PUP format is that
if these individuals are not ready by the time the Raiders trim the roster to 65
players, Oakland can either extend their respective stints the PUP list through
the sixth week of the regular season, taking them through the Oct. 12 game at
Cleveland. At that point, there is a three-week practice window before either
returning to the 53-man roster or end the season on injured reserve.
The decision on Williams was not entirely surprising since his season
ended on injured reserve after sustaining a serious knee injury that required
surgery. Williams, who had already been playing despite a turf toe injury
throughout last season, tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee,
partially tore the anterior cruciate ligament and sustained some meniscus
damage. Williams, optimistically speaking would have been ready by the end of
For Robbins, the decision is yet another hurdle in an already difficult
road in getting back to the good graces of the team. Besides trying to regain
teammates’ respect after his well-documented Super Bowl disappearance, Robbins
is also recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
“He has made progress but to the degree of playing full speed in
scrimmage type football, I do not think he was ready just yet,” Raiders head
coach Bill Callahan said of Robbins. “There is some precautionary measure. I
think you have to look at it from the aspect that it is a football injury. It
was dealt with surgically and he is in the process of rehabilitation so I look
at that in an isolated way and I’m sure everyone else on this team does.”
Fulcher spent last season on injured reserve after sustaining a knee
injury in training camp. Fulcher, however, is on the PUP list because of
undergoing abdominal surgery. Love, meanwhile, is on the PUP because of an ankle
injury. Callahan added that Love’s injury is not severe but has also not
progressed as quick as anticipated.
Smith is on the NFI list because he sprained his ankle last month in a
non-football related manner. Callahan indicated the injury might have taken
place while Smith was playing basketball but he anticipates Smith being ready in
about one week.
Vince D’Adamo can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org