Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette reported to training camp on Thursday. Apparently he got the message that 260 pounds was not an acceptable weight for a starting running back. According to Pro Football Focus NFL reporter Doug Kyed, Fournette was 245 pounds.
#Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette was back down to 245 pounds when he reported to camp today, per source. Veteran RB is back in shape. Crisis averted.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) July 26, 2022
That is obviously a better number for the veteran running back to show up at. But it still poses some issues. Fournette's trainer acknowledged that Fournette used a lot of time in the sauna to lose weight quickly before camp. That can create a number of other issues.
NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan spelled out the issues to Pro Football Talk. “Sitting in a hot sauna may result in a lower number on the scale but it’s simply from water loss… In doing so, dehydration from this weight-loss game plan puts the athlete at a higher risk of exertion heat illness,” Ryan said.
Even though he is down to a more manageable weight, Leonard Fournette is not out of the woods. The beefy tailback is listed at 228 pounds on the team's website, so there is work still to do.
Considering the type of offense he plays in, agility and quickness are essential. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has always used his running backs to catch passes and Fournette was no exception. He caught 69 passes from Brady last year for almost 400 yards.
In what looks to be Brady's final season, the Buccaneers are going all-in. They brought in Russell Gage to replace Antonio Brown. They signed Kyle Rudolph last week then added future Hall of Fame wideout Julio Jones earlier Tuesday.