Leonard Fournette in a Dec. 2021 game. Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) breaks a tackle from Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (49) in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

When Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette showed up to camp slightly overweight, it prompted a lot of discussion. Now, Fournette is pushing back.

Reportedly, Fournette recorded a weight near 260 pounds in the offseason, then showed up to camp at 245 pounds, well below that but almost 20 pounds heavier than his listed playing weight of 228 pounds. That led to intense discussion of his weight. But speaking about it to media Tuesday, Fournette said that didn’t bother him, and cited his genes for his weight gain.

“It don’t matter to me, because I know who I am,” Fournette (seen at top in a Dec. 2021 game against the Buffalo Bills) said of the talk about his weight gain. “I know that I can always get in shape. People don’t understand. As a running back, you have to recover. You’ve got to train, and then we have kids. I try to fit all that in the time I have to train, too. So, yeah, I mean, I got big genes, so it is what it is.”

Fournette played a huge part in the Bucs offense last year, amassing 812 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The Bucs are going to need Fournette to get in shape quick. That shouldn’t be a problem for the running back, as he said practice should take off the pounds quickly.

It does make one wonder because of his weight gain, will Fournette play in more preseason games this year? That’s unusual for most starters in the NFL because of fear of injury. But in this case, it may be a necessary evil.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.