It looks like the Cincinnati Bengals won’t have John Ross for a few more weeks.
According to Ian Rapoport, Ross is expected to miss the Bengals’ first two regular-season games:
#Bengals WR John Ross’ knee sprain is expected to keep him out of the opener and likely the short W2, source said. Potentially back Week 3.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2017
That means Ross will miss Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens, as well as Week 2 versus the Houston Texans. This was the expectation with Ross reportedly out for multiple weeks after spraining his knee in the fourth preseason game.
Getting him ready in time for Week 1 was unlikely, and then having him make his debut on a short week for next Thursday isn’t a smart play.
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.
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. Ross may not play in the first two games, but he can still have a major impact on how successful this team becomes in 2017.
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 recovers quickly and goes on to have a productive rookie season and career in Cincinnati.