Culpepper says he is 270 pounds

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Body weight is a sensitive topic in the NFL, especially in an environment where players are getting suspended for taking weight-loss supplements laced with banned diuretics.

Very few players reveal their true weight, both out of vanity and concern about weight clauses in their contracts. And so I thought it was interesting that Detroit quarterback Daunte Culpepper engaged in a discussion on that topic Wednesday during a conference call with Minnesota reporters.

Culpepper, who has been listed at 265 pounds for most of his career, reportedly was 280 pounds when he signed with the Lions earlier this season. Culpepper said he is now about 270, which is about 15 pounds heavier than when he first returned from a devastating knee injury -- but about the same weight he played at in Minnesota for most of his career.

The Vikings considered 270 the high end of Culpepper's ideal weight range, believing anything more would put too much stress on his legs. After suffering the injury, Culpepper got down to about 255 pounds to speed up his recovery.

"I have always been a big guy," Culpepper said. "I have never had a real problem with my weight. I am always going to be cognizant of it and make sure I am in good enough shape to go out and play the game that I love to play."

It's always risky to make a judgment about a player's weight and conditioning just based on visuals. If you had done that with Culpepper earlier this season, you would have thought he would need oxygen after his first series on the field.

But coach Rod Marinelli said he was "really surprised" with Culpepper's conditioning and said he believes Culpepper is "special."

Marinelli added: "He is working hard right now. He missed OTAs and minicamps and training camp. But I'll tell you, he is a good worker and he is going to do fine."