Ravens’ Justin Tucker hitting the weight room hard to prepare for new kickoff rule

Justin Tucker is more than just the most accurate placekicker in history. And while he’s also an accomplished opera singer, who can can belt out a tune in seven different languages, he’s also a very engaging interview subject.

And this season, you might be able to add tackling machine to his CV.

The NFL has approved a new kickoff rule, one appropriated from the XFL, which will require placekickers to potentially be the last line of defense against kickoff return touchdowns.

While PKs will continue kicking off from their own 35, the other 10 players on the kicking team will line up at the receiving team’s 40, just 5 yards away from the first wave of the return team.

In other words, we’re going to see more tackles from kickers this upcoming season.

Tucker was asked, during the media session at today’s OTAs, whether he plans to bulk up for this.

“I have put on, like, 3.8 pounds,” he hilariously responded.

“Can you guys tell? Probably not. But yeah, I’ll leave it at that.”

Tucker went to say that he isn’t exactly what most people think of when it comes to the concepts of being “shredded” or “swole.”

“This might be really surprising to a lot of you guys and a lot of my teammates because I don’t hang out in the weight room too frequently,” he continued.

“Now I got to get some more shrugs, get the traps going a little bit, just to make sure I’m prepared for a little bit more contact.”

While Tucker isn’t exactly the embodiment of “beast mode” or “jacked,” he has made eight tackles over the course of his career; the last of which came towards the end of the 2022 season.

Perhaps you’ll be seeing footage of him in the weight room this season, and in that footage he’ll stacking plate like IHOP as he builds his own personal fortress of swolitude.

“I don’t think (tackling opposing ballcarriers is) necessarily something that is encouraged (for kickers), but it’s not discouraged either,” he said.

“It kind of just comes with a territory. It’s a football play.

“We’re all football players out there, and ultimately if a returner is beelining toward the end zone and I’m the last guy there to stop him, it is part of my job description.”

Given that more tackling could be required of Tucker this season, he might be doing some tackling drills (for the first time since high school) at training camp next month.

“It’ll probably be really bad TV, but we’ll have fun doing it,” he added.

Indeed, you know what they say: “sun’s out, guns out.”

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire