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Bengals WR John Ross is showing he belongs in the plans for Cincinnati’s future

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John Ross is finding his groove after scoring yet another touchdown against the Ravens.

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Bengals may have lost on Sunday, but their young receiver John Ross had a highlight-reel catch while showing he deserves to be involved with this offense.

His catch was probably one many of his doubters wouldn’t have expected him to make, as he went up over a Raven’s defender to make the contested catch in the endzone.

“It was just the perfect pass by Andy [Dalton] that gave me an opportunity to compete and get the ball,” said Ross after the game. “I was just trying to make a play.”

That is two weeks in a row where he has reached the end zone. He has also scored four touchdowns in four of his seven games that he has played in this year. Two of them have even come in goal-line situations.

“John made a great catch in the end zone on that one-on-one play,” said Andy Dalton after the game. “I saw him do that in a lot of his college tapes, and it was great to see him do that today.”

It is still a little frustrating to not see Ross more heavily involved, especially with A.J. Green out with a toe injury. It still feels like the offense is just content to send him on streaks most of the time. He is rarely given an opportunity to catch a short pass in stride to get some yards after catch.

Then again, something that we all need to consider is he is still very young and getting down how to play that bigger role. Take a look at Tyler Boyd’s season last year as an example. He was in his second season, and up until the final two games, he hadn’t done much of anything on the season.

There were plenty of people (myself included) who doubted whether he could take on a larger role successfully, but clearly something clicked as he has become one of the most consistent threats the Bengals’ offense has.

The way Ross has flashed his talent this season gives us hope that he could possibly make a similar leap going into his third season or even down the stretch. It has been hard to have Ross, Boyd and Green on the field at the same time, but when they are, they really feed off of each other, and it makes Andy Dalton’s job a whole lot easier as well.

The expectations of Ross were rightfully high as he was drafted ninth overall in the 2017 draft, but after he failed to record a catch before his rookie season was cut short due to an injury, many lost all faith in the receiver. It seemed like some fans were all too happy to declare him a bust after that point. Plays like today’s should really have fans thinking more long term with him as we could see a far more productive Ross in the future.

What are your thoughts on Ross going forward?