Rookie receiver John Ross was once again able to practice, as he looks to make his return just in time for this critical AFC North clash.
John Ross (knee) practicing again, and Adam Jones (back) & Derron Smith (ankle) have returned for the #Bengals today.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) October 18, 2017
Ross returned to practice on Monday, but that was an extra session the Bengals got because they’re coming off their bye week. That meant there was no participation report for Ross, who needs to get some full sessions in this week to be active on Sunday.
Starting cornerback Adam Jones was also practicing Wednesday. Jones has been dealing with back spasms and other undisclosed injuries, none of which are thought to be serious, but they did cause him to miss most of the Week 5 win over the Buffalo Bills, as well as Monday’s practice.
Fellow starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was able to practice Wednesday after getting some work in on Monday. Kirkpatrick was nursing a shoulder injury leading up to the Week 5 matchup with Buffalo, then reaggravated the injury enough that he too missed most of the game.
The good news is if either Jones or Kirkpatrick are limited in Pittsburgh, the Bengals have gotten good production out of Darqueze Dennard and William Jackson III on the boundary, though they’d be facing their biggest test of the season in a Steelers receiver group that includes Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Bengals got more good news with the return of backup safety Derron Smith to practice. Smith has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury. He’s shown flashes of becoming a quality safety during his three years with the Bengals, even getting occasional snaps as a slot corner, but injuries have prevented him from ever taking on a bigger role.
Be sure to check back later for the full Wednesday practice and participation report for the Bengals and Steelers.