When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take the field to open training camp on Friday morning, Jacquies Smith will still be watching from the sideline. But that could change any day.
On Wednesday, the Buccaneers placed Smith, a fourth-year defensive end who recorded 13.5 sacks during the 2014-15 seasons, on the active/physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. It's a common bit of pre-camp housekeeping used on players who are still recovering from injury because it preserves a team's option to place a player on the reserve/PUP list at the start of the regular season. The Buccaneers hope that second part of the move won't be necessary.
Photos of the Buccaneers' complete roster.
As is the case with any player on the active/PUP list, Smith does count against the 90-man roster limit, and he can be activated from that list at any time. He can (and surely will) take part in meetings and be in attendance at practice, but is limited in terms of physical activity to non-contact rehabilitation work. Smith missed nearly all of the 2016 campaign when he suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the Buccaneers' Week One win at Atlanta.
The Buccaneers were optimistic that their entire 90-man roster would be ready to practice at the start of camp, so Smith's absence may not last long. If he does remain sidelined through the preseason, the Buccaneers would have the option of transferring him to the reserve/PUP list at the time the roster is trimmed to 53 players. In that case, Smith would have to miss at least the first six weeks of the regular season before he could be activated.* *