NFL Nation: Lamar Divens

Two of the NFC West's top receivers, Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin, headline a list of players declared physically unable to perform (PUP) as training camps gain momentum.

PUP designations carry different meanings at different times of the year. With that in mind, now is a good time to freshen up on the implications.

Players on PUP lists entering camp continue counting against the 90-man roster limit. They cannot practice while on the list. However, their teams can activate them from the list at any time before the mandatory roster reduction to 53 players, provided the players pass a physical exam.

This year, teams must reduce to 53 players by 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 31.

Players remaining on PUP lists at the reduction to 53 players must remain on the list for their teams' first six games. They do not count against the 53-man roster limit during that time. After six games have passed, players on PUP have a three-week window to resume practicing. Once a player begins practicing within that window, the team has another three weeks to activate the player from the PUP list onto the 53-man roster.

In effect, a player on the PUP list at the reduction to 53 players could return after his team's sixth game or as long as six weeks after that. The NFL had discussed expanding the three-week window for practicing by two weeks. I'm checking on the status of that proposal, which would have required collaboration with the NFL Players Association.

Update: The window has indeed been extended from three weeks to five weeks, according to the NFL.

Thirteen players from the NFC West are on PUP lists. Five others are on non-football injury (NFI) lists. The rules for NFI mirror those for PUP, the difference being that players on NFI lists suffered injuries unrelated to football. For example, the San Francisco 49ers recently activated defensive lineman Lamar Divens from the NFI list. They did not disclose the source of his injury, but teammate Ahmad Brooks had struck him in the head with a bottle in June, according to authorities.

Separately, the 49ers have also activated linebacker Darius Fleming and receiver Kyle Williams from their PUP list.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke recently declined to say whether the team planned to punish linebacker Ahmad Brooks for allegedly striking teammate Lamar Divens over the head with a bottle last month.

Brooks
Players will be watching the situation closely, you can bet, and at least one of them expects some form of discipline.

"It was a bad choice that he made, and he's going to have to pay for that," safety Donte Whitner told reporters Wednesday. "We don't know what it's going to be, yet."

We still have not heard from Brooks on the matter. Off-field matters tend to be personal, but this one differed from most because it involved one teammate attacking another.

Precedent is scarce, but when Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith attacked practice-squad player Anthony Bright during a team study session in 2002, the Panthers suspended Smith for one game. That situation appeared more serious. Bright suffered a broken nose and required a hospital stay, whereas Divens apparently did not suffer a significant injury. Also, Smith's attack against Bright took place on the job at team headquarters, another significant difference.

In 2005, former Oakland Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski settled out of court with former teammate Marcus Williams, who had sued Romanowski for breaking his eye socket during a 2003 practice. Again, that situation was far more serious than what happened involving Brooks and Divens.

Brooks will not face charges in the case, authorities said. The NFL could act against Brooks anyway, but teams have been increasingly taking the lead on such matters.

Dolphins at Ravens inactives

November, 7, 2010
11/07/10
11:57
AM ET
BALTIMORE -- Inactives for Sunday's game between the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium:

Miami Dolphins
Baltimore Ravens

Ravens at Patriots inactives

October, 17, 2010
10/17/10
11:59
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Here are the inactives for Sunday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium:

Baltimore Ravens
New England Patriots

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