The Detroit Lions opened training camp on Friday afternoon. Just as practice got started, the Lions announced that three players will be out because they are either on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list or the Non-Football Illness (NFI) list. Here's how it breaks down:
NFI list: DE Ronnell Lewis
Essentially, the only noteworthy thing about this news right now is that Thomas, Harris and Lewis can't practice. All three players can be activated at any time, but for now they are ineligible to take part in practice. They are still on the roster, and the Lions didn't open up any roster spots by making these moves. It's just a designation.
If any of these injuries or ailments are bad enough that a player is still out going into the regular season, then roster spots could be freed up. Last year, for example, cornerback Chris Greenwood went on the active PUP list, missed all of training camp and was transferred to the reserve PUP list. This gave the Lions a roster spot and the chance to activate Greenwood during the regular season. (They declined to do that, so he was out for the entire season.)
It's unclear how long Thomas, Harris and Lewis are expected to be sidelined. Being on the PUP or NFI list often is just precautionary more than anything, but sometimes, as in the case of Greenwood last year, it can be for more serious injuries. I'm sure we'll get more information on the status of all three players after practice is over.
UPDATE: Jim Schwartz indicated after practice that none of these three players are expected to miss a significant amount of time.
Per Jim Schwartz, Leroy Harris going on PUP list is "a little more of a precautionary just to make sure he’s doing really well."— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) July 26, 2013
Per Schwartz, Devin Thomas is on PUP list & Ronnell Lewis is on NFI list to "give them a couple extra days to round themselves into shape."— Pride Of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) July 26, 2013