In the case of Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, PUP may stand for player unwilling to practice.
The Bears have put Smith on the physically unable to perform list to start training camp, a designation that keeps players off the practice field while they’re recovering from injuries.
But Smith is reportedly unwilling to practice until the Bears give him a new contract, and it’s unclear whether he’s truly “unable” to perform right now.
The practice of “holding in” by reporting to camp but sitting out practice, rather than holding out of training camp altogether, has become more common in the NFL after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement imposed much stricter rules against players who hold out. Smith reported to camp, but he’s not practicing. He may become able to perform at the precise moment that he and the Bears agree to a new deal.