The Bengals have been waiting to get Ross onto the field and into a featured role in the offense ever since taking him ninth overall in this year’s NFL Draft. In Ross, the NFL record holder for the 40-yard dash time, the Bengals felt that they had a long-term option opposite of A.J. Green.
After Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu left in free agency in the spring of 201, things just haven’t been the same for this passing game. Given his speed and ability to stretch the field, Ross brings a lot to the table.
Unfortunately, injuries and other issues have forced the Bengals to set him aside for the past month. He re-injured a previous knee injury during a Week 3 practice, which led to him missing the last four games.
By allowing Ross to sit out in those games, he’ll have gotten three weeks to fully recover from his injury, which wasn’t believed to be serious to begin with. He has now gotten two full weeks of practice in leading up to Sunday’s clash with the Colts, so he should be in for a decent workload.
Besides, the Bengals had plenty of offensive weapons before taking the Washington Huskies game-breaker in this year’s NFL Draft. However, the Bengals did need another playmaker at wide receiver to get the offense back to being an elite unit that can consistently score on anyone.
During his final college season, Ross caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns as one of the most explosive players in college football. But while that was a great year, it was the only one in which Ross made a major impact.
In his first two seasons at Washington, Ross caught a combined 33 passes for 579 yards and five scores across 26 games from 2013-14. Then in 2015, Ross tore his ACL and missed the entire season. He also had surgery to repair a torn labrum shortly after Washington's pro day this offseason.
That injury history made Ross a very risky pick with the ninth overall selection in this year’s draft, and he’s not off to a great start in shedding that injury-prone label. Hopefully, he’s now fully recovered and goes on to have a productive rookie season and career in Cincinnati.