Just accidentally came across this. Under the radar without much fanfare, the NFL has changed PUP rules.
A look at new NFL language on PUP rules
July, 27, 2013
Jul 27 12:15 AM ET
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
The NFL has changed its rules regarding physically unable to perform (PUP) lists, giving players additional time to recover from injuries.
We discussed the proposed changes in March and the NFL has confirmed that the changes went into effect last week.
The new language reads as follows:
Before the change, players on PUP lists had until the ninth regular-season weekend instead of the 11th to resume practicing. The change means teams can now push back by two weeks the opening of the 21-day practice period. A player on the PUP list entering the regular season could make his regular-season debut as early as Week 7 or as late as Week 15 under the new rules.
Commencing on the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend (October 15) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend (November 19), clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform for a period not to exceed 21 calendar days. Pads and helmets are permitted during the 21-day period. At any time during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, clubs are permitted to restore such players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform to their Active/Inactive List.
Compare to the old, where all players who started the regular season on the PUP list were required to remain on it for the first six weeks. And once those six weeks were up, a player had a three-week window in which he needed to begin practicing. From the day he returns to practice, the team had an additional three-week window by which to activate him. If a player was not activated at that point, they would have to remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.