What is the PUP list in the NFL?

On roster cut day in the NFL, fans hear about players getting put on the PUP list. What exactly does that mean and what is the PUP list, though?
Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders
Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders / Steve Marcus/GettyImages

Tuesday in the NFL was cut day, the designated time when all 32 teams were required to cut their 90-man preseason and training camp rosters down to the standard 53-man rosters for the regular season.

In the midst of all of that, though, there were several players, most visibly Colts running back and rumored trade candidate Jonathan Taylor, who were placed on the PUP list to begin the season.

However, the PUP list is undeniably one of those things that NFL fans hear pretty frequently when reporters or analysts are discussing roster moves, but also one that they might not know exactly what it is. So let's break down what exactly the PUP list entails, how players end up on it, what that means, and much more.

What is the PUP list in the NFL?

The "PUP" in PUP list stands for "Physically Unable to Perform". It is an injury designation for players who suffered a football-related injury prior to training camp that has left the athletes unable to get onto the field. While on the PUP list, NFL players are unable to practice, though they can still be in the team facilities and meetings, among other non-practice activities.

It's important to note that there are two types of the PUP list: the Active and Reserve lists. The Active/PUP list designation is during training camp when players are unable to take the field due to injury but are still counted toward the 90-man roster. But when the cuts to 53 players come along, any player who is not activated from the Active list must then be placed on the Reserve list, wherein they do not count toward the 53-man roster count.

But the one thing about this designation for players to begin the NFL season is that it's going to cost them a significant amount of game time, so it's not something that is used overly liberally around the league.

How many games does an NFL player miss after going on the PUP list?

Players who are placed on the Reserve/PUP list after 53-man roster cuts are required to miss at least the first four games of the NFL season. To be sure, players can miss more time than that with this designation but, at a minimum, the player with the PUP designation will be missing the first four games of the year. This is actually something that changed in recent years as, prior to the 2022 season, starting the season with the PUP designation required a player to miss the first six games of the year.

Do NFL players on the PUP list get paid?

One good thing about the players who receive the PUP designation going into the season is that they are paid their full salaries while they are inactive and unable to practice or play in games. Because the stipulation for this list is that players suffered the injury in football-related activities, that does mean that players are not docked pay for being unable to perform.

Notable players beginning 2023 season on the PUP list?

Jonathan Taylor, as mentioned, headlines the names who will begin the 2023 season on the PUP list. Beyond that, however, there are several other notable names in the NFL who will be missing at least the first four weeks of the season. Bills EDGE Von Miller, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, Packers CB Eric Stokes, Titans CB Caleb Farley, Bengals OT La'el Collins and more headline the players receiving this designation going into the 2023 campaign.