TAMPA BAY – It’s June. And it’s the first day of mandatory minicamp.
Naturally, there will be bumps. Nothing is going to be even close to resembling perfect, right now.
Such is the case with starting running back Leonard Fournette, who reportedly showed up to minicamp with some extra weight.
“I’m at 240-something, right now,” Fournette told reporters when asked about how much he currently weighs. “So, definitely, 220-230 [pounds] is definitely my range.”
#Bucs RB Leonard Fournette said that the fastest he’s ever ran was at 23 MPH.— PewterReport (@PewterReport) June 7, 2022
He also spoke on dropping weight before training camp. He’s at 240-something right now and his ideal playing weight is 228-230. pic.twitter.com/kamCgv3Z6j
It may sound like an issue on the surface, but it’s not. Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles knows this and he even said as much on Tuesday, the Buccaneers’ first day of mandatory minicamp.
“I don’t think anybody’s where they need to be, right now,” Bowles told reporters. “It’s training camp where you need to be where you gotta be. So, right now, there are guys that are in shape that could afford to lose a few pounds and there are guys that are out of shape that are really underweight.
“So, we’re trying to take care of that, right now. We’ll worry about it in training camp.”
Fournette knows he needs to shed the extra weight, as well.
“That’s why I have to get my weight down and get back where I want to be,” said Fournette. “It’s definitely one of my goals right now, to play at the weight I feel comfortable at.”
This only becomes an issue if Fournette shows up to training camp overweight, like Bowles said. Those who paid attention to training camp last year will note how receiver Tyler Johnson showed up to training camp out of shape and how long it took him to work himself back into his original role. He then went on to struggle throughout 2021, his second year in the NFL.
None of this is to say that Fournette sees the same fate if he doesn’t lose weight. However, it’s definitely something he needs to make happen over the coming weeks.
Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports