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Battle of fittest: Player losing/gaining weight roundup

The last NFL game took place 108 days ago. Most players finished their season well before that date.

In the three-plus months since, while the outside world has been fretting over free agency and draft prospects, veteran players under contract have (hopefully) worked on keeping themselves fit.

Now that OTAs have begun for 31 teams we sit squarely in offseason trope time. Seemingly every other player has lost weight he was supposed to lose or gained weight he was supposed to gain.

Every story is a success! That's what we are told at least. (Surely someone got lazy and fat over the break. Surely.)

In that spirit let's round up some notable weight loss/gain stories to start OTAs, just for fun.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

The biggest weight-loss story running. Eddie Lacy's weight became a running joke last season -- the internet got vicious. The Packers tailback famously worked out with P90X creator Tony Horton and returned reportedly losing between 15 and 20 pounds.

Here is a new story from the Green Bay Press-Gazette where Horton relays that one of the plyometric workouts the two did this offseason was so tough that Lacy had trouble, ummmm, errr, ummm... "sitting to use the bathroom." (Cue the "Lacy worked out so hard he couldn't poop right" jokes.)

C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos

Let's stick with the running backs to start. Anderson got off to a sluggish start last season, before getting healthy and turning on the gears late in the season, helping power the Broncos to a Super Bowl.

Anderson believes showing up to camp at playing weight (221 pounds) will help him get off to a better start this season.

"I just want to come in, I want to start faster,'' Anderson said, via "That's something I talked about with (coach Gary Kubiak) and (running backs) coach (Eric) Studesville. They felt like I hit my peak after the bye week last year.''

Anderson said this is the lightest he's ever been to start offseason workouts. Last May, former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase -- then with the Bears -- famously noted that Anderson "was a little chubby sometimes" and got worn down. The back hopes to avoid that wear this season.

Andre Williams, New York Giants

When we watch Williams play, we see nothing special. Coach Ben McAdoo, however, continues to tout Williams as a potential "bounce-back candidate." Entering his third year, Williams is doing everything to prove his new coach right.

"I just wholeheartedly agree with him," Williams said Monday after the Giants' first organized team activities practice. "That just gave me a little extra gas in the tank to realize there's a lot of naysayers, but the people in your corner, they're not the ones outside.

Williams lost 10 pounds and cut his waist size from a 36 to a 32, per Hopefully the shedding will provide the plodding back with some explosion.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben is a little less big entering offseason workouts, shedding an estimated 15 pounds.

"It feels good," Roethlisberger said, via the team's official website. "You want to be the best you can be. You want to win Super Bowls. I just felt like it was the right thing at the right time."

While Roethlisberger has generally been on the puffier side through his career, let's not discount a 34-year-old dropping 15 pounds in a few months. Aging metabolisms suck.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Our first weight gainer.

The starting quarterback added five pounds of muscle and said he feels in much better shape entering this offseason's workouts. It's not a huge weight gain, but the second-year signal caller could use any bulk to help keep him healthy in the Titans' "exotic smashmouth" offense.

Tennessee needs Mariota for a full 16 games if they are going to leap out of the cellar of the AFC South.

DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans

The Houston Texans added speed to their offense this offseason. Hopkins added weight.

The 6-foot-1 receiver "put on some muscle" this offseason, per the Houston Chronicle. If there was one critique of the dominant receiver it was his after-the-catch playmaking. Adding muscle will help Hopkins bust loose from smaller defensive backs.

Also of note in Houston, 2015 third-round pick Jaelen Strong, who reported last season overweight, is in "great shape." After the Texans drafted Will Fuller in the first round and Braxton Miller later in the draft, Strong is in a battle for snaps -- and possibly a roster spot. Being in shape is the first step.

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