The San Francisco 49ers are back in Santa Clara, returning to practice today, which means Jim Harbaugh is meeting with the media. Harbaugh informed the media that wide receiver Mario Manningham would start the regular season on the PUP list.
Manningham tore his ACL and PCL in Week 16, and it is not surprising that his rehab will carry over to the regular season. He suffered his injury a month after Kyle Williams and Kendall Hunter suffered their injuries. While it can be hard to compare knee injuries, the addition of the PCL tear adds a level of difficulty to the recovery. Starting the season on the PUP list gives him a minimum of six weeks to get ready. He has more time than that, but he is not allowed to practice with the team for the first six weeks. Check out socalisteph's breakdown of the PUP list rules.
Manningham will not count against the 53-man roster when the team makes their final roster cuts, but they will eventually need to figure out who will get cut when they do activate him. This opens the door for one or more of the many receivers to step up and force the decision.