With six weeks of NFL action officially in the books for the Minnesota Vikings, the team has two players that are now eligible to return from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) or Non-Football Injury (NFI) lists. The ball is now in the Vikings’ court as to what they want to do with those two players, and we’re going to outline the rules governing those lists.
Because tight end David Morgan (PUP) and defensive end Tashawn Bower (NFI) ended the preseason on their respective reserve lists, they were forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season. Now that they’ve done that, they need to return to practice, be placed on Injured Reserve, or be released at some point in the next five weeks, per NFL rules.
If either Bower or Morgan does return to practice, the team then has a three-week window to work with. During that window, they have to decide whether or not they want to place them on the 53-man roster or put them on Injured Reserve.
Unless my math is off, this means that the Vikings can wait until Week 11 to decide whether or not they want to allow Morgan and/or Bower to return to practice. If they waited the full five weeks, and then took the full three weeks they’re allotted to decide whether or not to add them to the 53-man roster, they could string this out all the way to Week 14.
After a player returns to practice from the PUP or NFI list, they do not count against the 53-man roster, just as they don’t count against the 53-man roster while they’re on the list. The team would only need to make a roster move to accommodate them if they were to be added to the main roster.
Morgan was placed on PUP before the start of Training Camp because of some knee issues he was dealing with, dating back to late in the 2018 season. Bower was placed on NFI because he tore his Achilles tendon doing an individual workout separate from the team during the offseason. Updates on the health of both players have been relatively scarce since the end of the preseason, so nobody is really sure where either man is at, health-wise.
But, we’ve reached a point in the season where both of the Vikings that were still on reserve lists at the end of the preseason are eligible to begin their comeback, as they’ve missed the league-mandated six games. If we get any updates on either player, we’ll definitely bring them to you here.