The Cincinnati Bengals finally have their first-round selection ready to fully practice.
On Monday, John Ross was able to get a full practice in for the first time since being drafted ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Ross was absent for all of Cincinnati’s OTAs while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. He also attended Washington, a school that runs on a quarter system; NFL players are not allowed to take part in NFL workouts (other than rookie minicamp) until their school year and graduation are complete.
One observer after Ross catches a quick out: can't stop it. He's too fast— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 14, 2017
Ross is going all out in 11 on 11— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) August 14, 2017
First round pick John Ross working in 11-on-11 drills. He took a reverse on this play. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/RhznPfHjnV— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) August 14, 2017
He even beat out William Jackson III to grab a deep ball.
Ross beat Will Jackson on deep ball in 1 on 1s. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) August 14, 2017
And, his speed was on full display.
Bengals top draft pick John Ross is in pads and taking part in 11 on 11 drills for the first time. And yes, he looks fast— Dan Hoard (@Dan_Hoard) August 14, 2017
Ross’ recovery has reportedly been on schedule. He was even cleared to practice as soon as training camp opened, though it was all individual work and no team drills. That finally changed Monday, nearly three weeks after the Bengals opened training camp.
Ross was able to go through camp without any setbacks, but he was held out of the preseason opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ross was somewhat injury-prone throughout his college career, so the Bengals will do everything they can to ensure he avoids a significant injury early in his rookie season. Along with tearing his ACL in 2015, Ross endured a torn meniscus the year prior, which required two surgeries, including microfracture surgery. His injuries were enough that some NFL teams were scared of drafting him this year.
The Bengals, however, were very confident his health wouldn’t be an issue in the NFL, which is why they spent a top-10 pick on him. If Ross can get in a full week of practice, perhaps we’ll see him Saturday when the Bengals host the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s more likely that we’ll see Ross make his debut in Week 3 when the Bengals face Washington the following Sunday, August 27.
Regardless of when Ross makes his preseason debut, it’s still great to see him finally on the field without any restrictions. He’ll have a major role in Cincinnati’s offense this season as long as he stays healthy.