Late August marks the time when players who entered training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list can be transferred to the reserve/PUP list. What this boils down to is that the injured players cannot practice with the team for the first six weeks of the season. The earliest they can return to game action is in Week 7.
Below is a roundup of the biggest names to hit the reserve/PUP list this week.
Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are hoping to get Harvin back around Thanksgiving, but coach Pete Carroll recently acknowledged a firm timeline won't be in place until at least mid-September. Harvin, who recently underwent hip surgery, led all wide receivers in yards after contact per reception last season while also averaging 35.9 yards per kickoff return. There's potential for a late-season shot in the arm that will vault the Seahawks deep into the playoffs.
Michael Crabtree / Mario Manningham, San Francisco 49ers
Due to advanced surgical techniques and accelerated rehab schedules, Crabtree's Achilles surgery is no longer viewed as career-threatening. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was activated from PUP in late October of last season after undergoing surgery in May. As expected, his effectiveness as a pass rusher was limited the rest of the way. Suggs' tendon was just partially torn, however, while Crabtree's was fully severed. As a wideout, Crabtree also is more reliant on speed and quick cuts. The 49ers shouldn't expect to see the pre-injury version of their No. 1 receiver until 2014. Manningham, rehabbing an ACL and PCL injury, is a good bet to beat Crabtree back to the lineup.
Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
Stewart underwent twin offseason ankle surgeries, but his right foot continues to give him trouble. The Panthers were optimistic that he would be ready for the opener, but the running back never came close to practicing. One of the most freakishly athletic backs in the NFL from 2008 to 2011, Stewart was noticeably hampered by the ankle woes last year. The Panthers need him healthy as a legitimate third weapon in their offense.
Jay Ratliff, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys insisted all summer that Ratliff would be ready for the start of the season, but he's been held back by hamstring and groin injuries. New coordinator Monte Kiffin was counting on Ratliff to flourish as the three-technique tackle in his Tampa 2 scheme. There's no telling when the defensive lineman will be ready to play again.
Derek Sherrod / Jerel Worthy, Green Bay Packers
Sherrod, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has had multiple setbacks since suffering an ugly compound leg fracture in his rookie season. A healthy Sherrod would have provided a semblance of security up front, with untested Don Barclay and David Bakhtiari expected to start at right and left tackle, respectively. The Packers finally have the defensive line depth to withstand Worthy's absence due to knee surgery.
Melvin Ingram, San Diego Chargers
The 2012 first-round draft pick has an outside chance to return late in the season after tearing his ACL in May. The Bolts picked up Dwight Freeney to take his spot at outside linebacker in the starting lineup.
Victor Butler, New Orleans Saints
Expected to start as an edge rusher, Butler followed coordinator Rob Ryan from Dallas to help with the transition to a 3-4 scheme. He's a longshot to contribute this season after tearing his ACL in June.
Jameel McClain, Baltimore Ravens
McClain has yet to gain full clearance from a spinal cord contusion suffered last December. By the time the linebacker returns to the field, second-round draft pick Arthur Brown might be entrenched as the starter next to Daryl Smith.
J.D. Walton, Denver Broncos
The Broncos' starting center missed the majority of last season with a broken ankle. His absence didn't hurt Peyton Manning's production in the least. Veteran guards Chris Kuper and Ryan Lilja are candidates to snap to Manning this year.
Adam Carriker, Washington Redskins
Expected to miss another four months after a third surgery to repair his torn quadriceps, Carriker is no sure bet to suit up in 2013. His absence is magnified by Jarvis Jenkins' four-game suspension.
Others on reserve/PUP: Kevin Walter, Greg Childs, Sean Spence.