C.J. Anderson says 'I'm the freshest running back' in the NFL, jokes that he put on sympathy weight

You may have noticed over the last few weeks that C.J. Anderson is absolutely running roughshod over NFL defenses. After being signed off the street by the Los Angeles Rams prior to their Week 16 games, here's what Anderson has done: 20 carries for 167 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals; 23 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers; and last week, 23 carries for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a divisional round win over the Cowboys.

Oh, and he's doing all that while looking like this. 

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams
Jan 12, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back C.J. Anderson (35) celebrates scoring a touchdown with wide receiver Josh Reynolds (83) and wide receiver Brandin Cooks (12) in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

That's not exactly typical running back physique, and Anderson knows it. "Right now, I'm 5-8, about 235. So I'm about 10 pounds over what I am. I've got a baby due in April -- got a daughter due in April, so I'm kind of having that man pregnancy weight," Anderson said, per USA Today.

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Anderson hears all the jokes about his weight, and he says it's worked to his advantage on the field. 

"At the end of the day, I feel like I'm moving deceptively," he said. "I feel like I'm trying to put myself in the best positions. Obviously next year, with an offseason when you can train and work off some things that you were doing – at one point I was where I was supposed to be. And then after being released from Oakland, thought the year was over, so I actually shut myself down definitely thinking the year was over. Obviously that didn't happen, but obviously I'm good enough to play, so that's fine."

And despite the extra weight, Anderson says he's got something else working in his favor. "I'm the freshest running back in the league," Anderson said, per NFL.com. "I'm not gonna say they're still fresh, but I'm fresher than Mark [Ingram], Alvin [Kamara] and Todd [Gurley], for sure."

Anderson was with Carolina for the first 10 weeks of the season but received only 24 carries during that time. He got the next five weeks off, save for a short, carry-less stint with the Raiders, before coming back to the Rams in Week 16. So, he probably is the freshest back left in the league right now. And it's clearly helping. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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