Earlier tonight the news broke that the Colts had activated running back Ahmad Bradshaw from the physically unable to play list. Obviously, that was good news to hear.
Colts fans have high expectations for Bradshaw, who was signed this offseason to greatly improve the Colts' rushing attack. And, if he stays healthy, he is absolutely the best back on the roster - in both the rushing and passing game.
Normally, a player being activated from the PUP list means that, well, they are now physically ready to play. In this instance, however, that may not be the case.
According to Pro Football Talk (citing a league source), the move to activate Bradshaw from the PUP was actually forced by the league.
Basically, here's the deal. Eight days ago, Ahmad Bradshaw participated in the morning walkthrough on Sunday morning, August 4th. All he did was take a few handoffs, which Chuck Pagano described as "mental reps," and after watching several of these closed walkthroughs, there's not much advantage whatsoever to be gained from a player participating and the difference between actually taking handoffs and just standing there watching is minimal. But that said, the rules are the rules, and the Colts were in violation of the PUP rules by letting Bradshaw take handoffs.
The NFL investigated the issue and confirmed that. Regardless of whether Pagano described it as just "mental reps," the league determined that the Colts were in violation of the rules and forced them to activate Ahmad Bradshaw from the PUP.
Keep in mind that last week colts.com was saying that Bradshaw was aiming to be back sometime this week, so it doesn't appear to be that early. But this could be the rare instance where a player activated from the PUP isn't quite ready to practice.
I'll be at Anderson University this week for the final week of camp and will definitely be keeping an eye on Bradshaw and keeping you updated, and I'm especially interested to see if he practices especially tomorrow, and if so just how much he does.
It doesn't seem like the Colts were forced to activate Bradshaw that much earlier than they were planning to, but their hand was forced by the league after they violated the PUP rules. Bradshaw taking "mental reps" was a mental lapse by the team to be sure, but it shouldn't hurt them much at all. If it's the worst thing they do, I'll be happy.