Ravens outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw is noticeably heavier this offseason after battling conditioning issues last year as a rookie.
Listed at 6 feet 2, 272 pounds on the roster after getting below 270 pounds last season following a failed conditioning test on the first try during his first NFL training camp, Upshaw said he now weighs around 285 pounds.
Upshaw explained his weight gain by saying he's been dealing with personal issues and wasn't working out at the Ravens' training complex on a regular basis this offseason.
"I’ve got to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season," Upshaw said Sunday during Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb's annual charity softball game at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. "My offseason has been kind of hectic. I had a personal issue where I had to handle that. Right now, I’m trying to get back into football shape.
"I was back and forth between Alabama and Baltimore, just real personal issues that I had to handle. Just trying to drop a couple pounds and get ready for the season."
Drafted in the second round last year after an All-American career at Alabama, Upshaw started nine games as a rookie. He recorded 55 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and recovered two fumbles. As a rookie, Upshaw had successfully gotten in shape and lost a significant amount of weight to upgrade his stamina and quickness.
Upshaw is slated to compete for playing time at strongside outside linebacker behind Pro Bowl selection Elvis Dumervil, who was signed to a $35 million free agent contract this offseason.
Gaining weight this offseason qualifies as a setback for Upshaw, but there's time for him to get in shape before training camp and the Ravens' season opener against the Denver Broncos.
"I’m feeling good," Upshaw said. "I’ve just got to look good. It’s not really a good look coming in heavy like the first year, but I’ve got to be a pro about everything. I’m trying to improve year in and year out in every aspect, and that’s even with the weight issue."
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