Why an expanded PUP window matters


PHOENIX -- Very few of you appreciated my afternoon tweet from the lush grounds of the Arizona Biltmore resort. What? You didn't like my view of paradise as you dealt with a Winter Wonderland in NFC North territory? I'm sorry to hear that.

Rest assured, however. As I took in some natural vitamin D, I also was working diligently alongside NFC West blogger/legal analyst Mike Sando, scouring the fine print of the NFL's 2013 bylaw-change proposals for possible impact in our respective divisions. We found at least one that could affect our 2013 season.

Among other things, Bylaw Proposal No. 2 would add two weeks to the return window for players who open the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If it passes, the rule would allow a player to return any time between his team's sixth and 11th games (it currently requires a decision after the ninth game).

Technically, then, a player could miss the first 14 games of the season -- an 11-game PUP stay plus three weeks of practice -- and still be eligible to play the final three games. It's debatable whether a coaching staff would judge a player to be ready for live game action after that long of a layoff, but in the right situation it could provide a late-season boost.

In the NFC North, for example, the Green Bay Packers could give defensive lineman Jerel Worthy -- who suffered a serious knee injury in Week 17 last season -- an extra two weeks to rehabilitate. Wednesday is the final day of these meetings. I'll let you know if the final wording of this bylaw and if anything else changes.