COMMENTARY | It hasn't been a good week for second-year outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw. The 2012 second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens admitted to weight issues derived from personal problems earlier in the week.
Now, head coach John Harbaugh has acknowledged the problem, pointing out that Upshaw doesn't eat right.
"Courtney's weight issue -- which he does need some pounds -- is that he doesn't eat right," Harbaugh said, according to ESPN.
Upshaw's weight has ballooned up to around 285 pounds, which is 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight in 2012. This isn't his first physical problem, as he failed a conditioning test at the beginning of training camp last year.
Now that he is a repeat offender by again not being able to take care of his body, he may be one of the latest members of the dreaded Harbaugh doghouse. Harbaugh, like many coaches, tends to hold grudges against players who don't put the team first, whether that's in terms of not keeping one's body in shape or not showing up to practice on time.
Two of the most recent members of Harbaugh's doghouse were left tackle Bryant McKinnie and inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. McKinnie spent the majority of the 2012 season watching the games from the sideline before finally being inserted into the starting lineup for the playoffs. Like Upshaw, McKinnie has struggled to keep his weight down during his time in Baltimore, something Harbaugh doesn't appear to be fond of.
Ellerbe, now with the Miami Dolphins, spent quite some time in a marginal role before becoming a full-time starter in 2012. During his time in Baltimore, Ellerbe got under Harbaugh's skin for acts such as being late for meetings, according to the Baltimore Sun.
He also showboated after a touchdown during a 2010 preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, something Harbaugh wasn't impressed by.
For Upshaw, the upcoming training camp will be crucial for him moving forward, as he must report to camp near his targeted weight of 270 pounds and be able to pass the conditioning tests. If he can do both and maintain his weight throughout the season, he may steer clear of the doghouse.
If not, his playing time will start to decrease before he has a chance to make a name for himself in Baltimore.
Kyle Casey is a sports writer and college student living in Baltimore, Md. He maintains his own football site, End Zone Report, and contributes to Russell Street Report, a Baltimore Ravens blog. Follow him on Twitter @kylecasey094.
- Courtney Upshaw
- John Harbaugh
- Baltimore Ravens