Roquan Smith Will Start Training Camp on the PUP List

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Roquan Smith Will Start Training Camp on the PUP List

Chicago Bears

As if Roquan Smith’s situation needed additional complications, another hurdle has come about.

Smith, who was set to hold out from training camp activities in response to not getting the contract extension he has been seeking, won’t be participating in any team activities at the outset of camp because he’ll begin the summer on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Smith’s inclusion is one of a handful of transactions the team announced this morning:

A spot on the PUP list is a designation for players suffering (or recovering) from football-related injuries, but aren’t quite ready to get the ball rolling at camp. Admittedly, part of me wants to think that Smith’s placement on the list is a roundabout way for the team to not fine the player as he goes through this contract dispute. And while that would be a clever loophole to use, I don’t know if the Bears want to be skirting rules like this after their dust-up with the NFL and NFLPA over practices last summer. The last thing a first-year head coach and general manager need is another set of sketchy optics.

And yet, I can’t think about a Smith injury that he could be recovering from at this moment. It’s not as if there was anything that stood out as something to be wary of during OTAs or minicamp. So, perhaps this *IS* a wink-and-a-nod kind of act of good faith by GM Ryan Poles to not fine a player (a team leader, at that) who came to camp despite dealing with a contract dispute. Smith said he’ll be available “when the smoke clears” — which felt like an acknowledgement of his present situation. In any case, I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this new development.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.