Don't be surprised if Jimmy Graham and Thomas Rawls start out on the PUP list. Here's a refresher on what that means.

Share story

When the Seahawks begin training camp Saturday, tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Thomas Rawls will not be on the field as they continue to recover from injuries suffered at the end of last season.

Whether they will be on the Physically Unable to Perform list has yet to be decided, according to general manager John Schneider in comments to local media Thursday.

Odds are, though, that Graham (coming off a patellar tendon injury) and Rawls (broken ankle) will indeed begin on the PUP list.

That might sound ominous.

But it’s far from it.

All of which means it might be a good time to refresh what the PUP list is.

There are essentially two PUP lists — one for the pre-season and one for the regular season.

The pre-season PUP list merely means that players who are unable to practice can sit out until they are medically cleared. Once cleared, they can begin practicing immediately (this is what happened last year with Earl Thomas, who sat out the first week of workouts before returning).

The reason to use the PUP list is that players CANNOT go on it once they have practiced. If a player nursing an injury practices and then has a setback the only options are to remain on the roster or go on Injured Reserve. So in essence, going on PUP just gives the team more roster flexibility and options (though they do still count against the 90-man roster).

But it’s important to note that in the preseason, a player can be taken off the PUP list at any time, meaning that being placed on it isn’t any indication of how long a player may be out.

Being on the pre-season PUP list also means a player can then be placed on the regular-season PUP list if he has yet to recover. A player on the active roster who gets hurt either has to stay on the roster (taking up a spot while unable to play) or placed on IR.

A player who is on the regular season PUP list has to sit six weeks at which point the team then has a six-week window for the player to come back to practice for up to three weeks before being activated or placed on IR (this was the situation last year with Jeremy Lane, and in 2013 with Percy Harvin, to name two).

As for Graham and Rawls, Schneider said again on Thursday the team anticipates each being ready for the start of the regular season Sept. 11 against Miami.

That each will likely begin on the PUP list shouldn’t be taken as an indication that won’t happen, but just the team keeping as much roster flexibility as it can.

Much more relevant is how long each stays on the PUP list — if they are still on it come September, then a little worry is in order. But that time isn’t yet.