Black has been on a weight-gaining campaign since returning to the sport, consuming about 7,000 calories per day as he attempts to get up to approximately 290 pounds. He said Tuesday that he’s now up to 281 pounds. His recent intake has included about eight protein shakes per day, he said.
He also has been encouraged by his progress on the field. Black has spent time on the practice field at each tackle spot. Most recently, he has worked with the starting offense at left tackle with Trent Williams sidelined by a bruised foot.
“I don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Black said. “At the same time, I appreciate the opportunity to show the coaches that I know the system and that I can still play. I think that’s been important, too, because I’m sure there were a lot of questions, with my size and being out of football.”
Black said he initially wondered whether his lack of bulk would work against him.
“My concern was being able to hunker down on a bull rush, having a defensive end run full speed at you,” he said. “I was worried I might not be heavy enough to slow him down. But after the first couple days of practice, it just goes back to ‘leverage wins’. Regardless of what I weigh, if I have leverage, I’ll be all right.”
He said he thinks his transition back to playing again has been smooth, even with his moves between left and right tackle.
“I’ve been around for a long time,” Black said. “I’ve been used to flipping from left to right. It’s difficult when you’ve got about a week of practice under your belt and you don’t have any exposure to the offense. Your learning curve has to be a lot quicker. But it’s part of the game, something I’ve done. So it’s not really that big a deal.”
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