When the Raiders take the field for training camp Saturday, we know two players wbo will not be practicing — linebacker Ben Heeney and tight end Cooper Helfet.
Both with start camp on the team’s Non-Football Injury (NFI) list. What that means is they suffered an injury of some kind outside of football.
Heeney spent most of last season on injured reserve. The third-year linebacker was limited in the offseason, but appeared to be back to full work by the end of minicamp. So, one would assume he sustained a different injury. He was buried on the depth chart and needed to have a strong camp to climb back in it. This won’t help those efforts.
The big question that always comes up when this designation is made is if that means there is a roster spot (or in this case, two) that is freed up. The answer is no. Both players still count against the 90-man roster.
The difference between this and the Physically Unable to Perform list is simply a matter of whether the injury occurred on the practice or playing field. With the NFI list, the club has the option of paying the player or not. Though usually they opt to pay them anyway.
There may still be players who are placed on the PUP list before camp begins.