1) John Ross feeling the locker room love. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and head coach Marvin Lewis stood behind John Ross on Wednesday, as you’d expect. Lewis concluded that Ross just needs to “free his mind”, causing Cincinnati scribes to spasm with hip “En Vogue” references. I’d have gone with Yoda. Because, duh. We delve more into Ross in a moment.
2) Marvin Lewis: “We’ll have all hands on deck soon.” Talk about encouraging. Lewis — grumpy on Monday and now the shinning example of optimism — projected confidence in the progress of Joe Mixon and Billy Price. Now include the eventual returns of Vontaze Burfict, Preston Brown, Michael Johnson, and A.J. Green, and there could be a reckoning coming in the NFL. Did that give you goosebumps?
- A.J. Green, Joe Mixon and Billy Price worked: Green suited up for Wednesday’s practice and joined Joe Mixon on the rehab field. Billy Price worked the stationary bike and performed “other flexibility exercises.”
- Green could play Sunday. Lewis told reporters that Green’s injury is clearing up with anti-inflammatories. According to Lewis, Green is dealing with a re-aggravated injury from college. Lewis also told Atlanta’s media that Green was “ready to go.”
- One expected transaction completed: Cincinnati officially placed defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow on Injured Reserve and announced the signing of Adolphus Washington. Washington is wearing No. 92.
4) Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is taking this week a bit more personal, writes Katherine Terrell. Dre played with Julio Jones (at Alabama), played with Mohamed Sanu (with the Bengals), and Calvin Ridley also played at Alabama. “This week I feel like it’s going to be a little extra something,” said Kirkpatrick. He also told Rebecca Toback that Week 4 vs. Atlanta was the game he was most looking forward to this year, other than the Steelers games.
Bengals Week 4 Practice/Injury Report
To have with your chamomile tea (for your reading pleasure): Since Everyone is Doing Film Now Edition
- Matt Minich recaps the “re-emergence” of Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert.
- John Sheeran’s Weekly Lineman reviews Cordy Glenn’s massive struggle from Sunday (which we’ll touch on during Friday’s column) and his approval of Carl Lawson performance.
- The Athletic’s Joe Goodberry breaks down Cincinnati’s run defense against the Panthers.
- Jay Morrison provides additional thoughts after re-watching Sunday’s loss.
- The Cincinnati Enquirer can’t stop kicking a dead mullet.
The John Ross narrative continues for now. As we mentioned earlier, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton he has “full confidence in (John Ross). There’s a reason he’s here. There’s a reason we drafted him as high as we did.” Ross has taken a bit of heat for his slow start, compounding his doghouse residency from last year.
While some argue patience (a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with), it’s important to note that Ross’ real-time learning experiences are happening during regular season games. These are the growing pains inexperienced receivers are dealing with, and the impact can be felt throughout. Games in Week 3 can be equally as important as any game on the calendar, save for lose and your out scenarios. Carolina is a common opponent in the division and the third tiebreaker.
Regardless, solely blaming Ross for the loss seems silly and a bit short-sighted (did you SEE the Bengals defense); it doesn’t seem like many people are subscribing to that narrative right now anyway.
That being said, Cincinnati needs to be mindful about relying on players who offer their best path to success. While you could argue Ross hasn’t proven a tremendous amount of success, you can’t relatively conjecture that others are. Josh Malone allowed a cornerback to run through him, causing a deflection and an Efe Obada interception. We have no idea how Auden Tate (aka, this year’s Jake Kumerow) will respond, and he’s been inactive all season. Then again, how would anyone know how he’d respond if he’s not given the chance? Then again again, Bob Bicknell, Bill Lazor, and Marvin Lewis have a strong idea on how their players would respond — more so than we do, despite PFF telling us one thing and NFL Game Pass telling us another.
Sadly, this conversation will sustain itself until Ross breaks through. He’s a former No. 9 pick. We hold first-rounders to a higher standard. Maybe that’s this weekend against Atlanta, who have already lost both starting safeties, Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, to injuries. Maybe that’s Steelers week. Who knows if ever. He has to keep playing if those opportunities come. That being said, if he becomes a liability, Cincinnati can’t sacrifice regular season games to teach lessons. It’s a high-stakes game every week — either produce, or get out.
Charity of the Day:
One last thing:
Speaking of which, Andrew Whitworth is ranked as the top OT in the NFL (if you buy into PFF grades), 9th as a run blocker, and tops among all OL in pass blocking (one pressure allowed all year).— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 26, 2018