Panthers coach Ron Rivera opened the door to criticism of wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin’s weight this offseason, by being the first to bring it up.
But when Benjamin reported to camp, Rivera avoided numbers, saying just that Benjamin was “where he needs to be” in terms of weight.
Now we have numbers to help quantify how far Benjamin has actually come.
According to Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer, Benjamin weighed in at 243 pounds when he checked into camp. While that might seem big for a wide receiver, it’s actually a good number for the 6-foot-5 Benjamin, who weighed 240 at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
It’s especially impressive considering he was “about 270” when he checked in this spring. If Benjamin was at that kind of weight, it’s no wonder Rivera made it an issue.
At the moment, all the reviews of Benjamin’s work have been positive, as he’s used hot yoga and other workouts to get back into shape. He’s probably never going to be a chiseled athlete, but he’s clearly put the work in to get his coach off his case.
Now if he can return to the kind of production he showed during his rookie season (73 catches for 1,008 and nine touchdowns) before he tore his ACL, the Panthers will be happy (if not fat).