Could Rob Gronkowski have been put on the PUP list instead of active roster?
This isn’t the first time the topic has been debated and by debating it over and over again wont validate its authenticity.
If they were to put him on the PUP list, the Patriots would be forced to deactivate one player every other week. But there is a far more important reason why the Patriots didn’t place Gronkowski on the PUP list just like that. It is because the players on the list are barred from practicing with the team.
The problem Gronkowski is suffering from is that he is unable to survive contact initiated from opponents' defense. Even if being on the PUP list might have helped him get better and work on improving strength, he would still have to work on the problem with tackles and for that he needs the team badly.
If Gronkowski would remain on the PUP after sixth week, he would be cleared to start practicing again with the team from the week after the Patriots play Saints. Then the Patriots would have about three weeks to evaluate and make their minds whether they want him to be on the on the active roster or they want to shift him to the inactive roster where he will remain for the rest of the season or in case they trim the roster and space opens up to call him back.
This means that the Patriots have the advantage of keeping one player more on the roster for now but by placing him on the PUP, they would reduce him to less game appearances this season.