New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is coming off the best season of his NFL career, but the worst injury as well.

Rankins, a Pro Bowl snub last year, tore his Achilles in the divisional round playoff win versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Opening training camp on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, many expected him to remain there at the beginning of the season.

It appears he'll be back sooner than expected.

NFL Network reporter Ian Rappaport broke the news this afternoon.

Rankins wouldn't have been available for the first 6 weeks of the season if he'd be on the PUP to begin the year.

While activating him doesn't mean Rankins will definitely be ready week 1 (and he could be), removing him from the PUP list is a clear sign New Orleans at least expects him to be back early in the season.