Hightower, Branch will open camp on PUP list

(Dan Powers/USA TODAY Sports)

Linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive lineman Alan Branch were placed on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Monday by the Patriots, according to the league transaction wire.

Hightower has had shoulder and knee issues the last few years, and the team was reportedly cautious with him throughout the offseason. (The 27-year-old missed three games last season with injuries.) It’s not clear why Branch was placed on PUP. The veteran was present for mandatory minicamp, but reportedly worked on the side.

Players who are on the PUP list are not allowed to practice with the team, but can come off the list at any time. Those who are on the PUP list at the end of the preseason have to sit out the first six weeks of the season, but do not count against the roster.

In addition, undrafted rookie tackle Andrew Jelks will open camp on active/non-football injury list.