NFC North: Venus Williams

We're Black and Blue All Over:

The Minnesota Vikings listed Bryant McKinnie on their roster as weighing 335 pounds.

He admitted to finishing last season at 360 pounds.

When he reported for training camp this weekend, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, he weighed nearly 400 pounds.

That figure was what prompted Tuesday's surprising release, Zulgad reported. Throughout the lockout, there had been talk of players who might let themselves go without the structure of offseason workouts. I think it's fair to say that McKinnie was one of them. McKinnie said at the beginning of the offseason that he had hired a person trainer, and later he posted a video of him playing tennis with Venus Williams, but obviously things caught up to him this summer.

Continuing around the NFC North:
Let's all give Minnesota Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie credit for this much: He's finding ways to keep busy, and get in at least a light workout, during the lockout.

McKinnie traveled to Rwanda last month as part of a charity mission; he dug a well among other manual projects. More recently, as Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out, McKinnie has been playing tennis and taking lessons from longtime friend Venus Williams.

McKinnie has talked often in recent years about hitting balls with Williams, who like McKinnie lives in the Miami area. But I never quite believed him until seeing the video below.

Ever wonder what a 6-foot-8, 350-pound (or so) man looks like playing tennis? Check out the video, which was produced in cooperation with McKinnie's music production company. I know even less about tennis than I do about football, but I'm thinking McKinnie's wingspan gives him a pretty good chance to reach any ball.

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