But the hard work eventually paid off. Rayford is up to about 275 pounds now, and it might give him the extra bulk he needs to be as a big a force against the run as he is against the pass.
In any case, like all the other players trying to make the roster Thursday, Rayford is not looking back.
"My mindset is like it doesn't matter what I did last game," he said. "I'm just going to go out and compete like nothing happened, make the best of every play, every opportunity I get. What I did last game doesn't matter about this game. It's all about Cincinnati and got to go out there and compete. Because those guys (the Bengals), they ain't worrying about what I did last game. It's what I do now."