4 Detroit Lions who could land on PUP or NFI list

These four Detroit Lions players could find themselves on either the PUP or NFI list at the start of training camp.

The Detroit Lions are gearing up for their upcoming training camp, where all of the players on their current roster will convene at the team's facility in Allen Park. However, there are four players who may not be physically ready to participate immediately and could find themselves placed on either the physically unable to perform (PUP) or non-football injury (NFI) lists. Those players are Hendon Hooker, Emmanuel Moseley, Levi Onwuzurike, and Malcolm Rodriguez.

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4 Detroit Lions who could land on PUP or NFI list

Here are the four Detroit Lions players who could land on the PUP or NFI list:

  • QB Hendon Hooker: Expected to start the regular season on the NFI list due to his ongoing recovery from ACL surgery.
  • CB Emmanuel Moseley: signed by the Lions during the offseason, may not be ready for the start of the 2023 season due to an ACL tear suffered while playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
  • DL Levi Onwuzurike: who missed the entire 2022 season with a back injury, is hoping to return to the field after surgery but remains uncertain for training camp and the regular season.
  • LB Malcolm Rodriguez: although healthy at the end of his rookie season, sustained a leg injury during OTAs and his status for training camp remains uncertain.

What does landing on the PUP or NFI entail?

From NFL.com:

Active/PUP list: Players are placed on this list during training camp and count toward a team's 90-man roster. Players can be removed from the list at any time during camp, but can't be placed back on the list. Players on this list as of final roster cutdowns must be placed on the Reserve/PUP, released, traded or counted against the 53-man roster.

Reserve/PUP list: Teams must decide by the 53-man roster cutdown deadline (Aug. 30 this season) whether to place a player on this list. Players placed on this list at that time must miss at least the team's first four games — down from six in seasons prior to 2022. Unlike in the past, players can be activated immediately after such time has elapsed. Any player who is designated Reserve/PUP on or after rosters are reduced to 80 (Aug. 23 this season) will also be subject to the same four-game absence.

Players on the PUP list are paid their entire base salary. A player's contract will not be tolled (meaning the contract will not be suspended and resumed the following season) while on the PUP, unless he is in the last year of his deal and he is both not able to perform football services as of the sixth regular season game and is not activated during that regular season or postseason.

NFI list: The Non-Football Injury or Illness list (NFI) is similar to the PUP list, but it is used for players who suffered injuries or ailments outside of NFL activities. (Note: this would include Hendon Hooker because he was injured while playing in college)

Players who begin the season on NFI (as of cutdowns to 53-man rosters) can be activated after the team has played its first four regular season games.

However, a player on this list is not entitled to receive his salary, and his contract will continue to run while in such status. That said, the team and player can negotiate a rate of payment for the player while on this list.

Malcolm Rodriguez Detroit Lions OTAs

Bottom Line – Navigating Training Camp Challenges

The designation of players to the PUP or NFI list is a significant consideration as the Detroit Lions kick off their training camp. Hendon Hooker, Levi Onwuzurike, Emmanuel Moseley, and Malcolm Rodriguez are among the Lions' players who may find themselves on these lists due to various injuries and recovery processes. The team's ability to effectively manage and navigate these challenges will play a crucial role in their preparations for the upcoming season. By prioritizing player health and employing strategic roster management, the Lions aim to optimize their chances for success on the field.