(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
According to a report from CBSBoston.com, the New England Patriots placed tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Jake Ballard along with receiver Julian Edelman on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday.
This means that the players are not yet cleared to practice when camp opens on Friday.
On the Gronkowski front, this is expected and the real question remains if he will be able to play in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on September 8.
Ballard had ACL and microfracture surgery in February 2012 and was limited during spring camp. With the lack of depth at the tight end position, Ballard is expected to have many opportunities to contribute to the offense if he is healthy.
Like Ballard, Edelman did not participate in spring camp after undergoing a procedure on an injured foot that caused him to miss time last season. He performed well despite this, and notched 21 receptions for 235 yards and three touchdowns. He was also effective as a returner, returning nine punts for 263 yards and a touchdown.
It is important to note that players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any point. Per the report, if a player is placed on the reserve/PUP list, they are required to miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
Fans should not be too concerned by this yet. They are veterans, and while there is a chance that they may miss camp, it should not be the be-all-end-all. They probably all have some level of familiarity with the Patriots offense and because of this, camp may not be as vital for them as say a rookie like Aaron Dobson.
Would it be nice to have them on the field? Yes. However, if they can get rest and prepare themselves mentally and physically for the regular season, then that’s what they should do. In the end, that is probably most important.