John Ross on fumbling first NFL touch: One play doesn’t make a career


The Bengals got first-round pick John Ross on the field Thursday night after he missed the opener with a knee injury and they made sure to get the ball in their speedy wide receiver’s hands in the first quarter of the game.

Ross got the ball on a running play around the left side and sprinted for 12 yards for a glimpse of why the Bengals wanted him as part of their offense. It was a brief glimpse, though, as Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson was able to jar the ball loose with a hit and Jadeveon Clowney plucked the ball out of the air to set up a return deep into Cincinnati territory.

The play set up a Texans field goal and left Ross with little to show for his first NFL action outside of a cautionary tale.

“I should be higher and tighter with the ball. It was a good play by him. He got his helmet on the ball,” Ross said, via the team’s website. “It’s my first game, and I got my feet wet a little bit. You’re always going to learn stuff like this. I was also told that one play doesn’t make your NFL career. I’ve got a lot more opportunities to come.”

Ross didn’t get the ball again on Thursday, so he’ll have to wait for a chance to show that he learned a lesson at a moment when the Bengals offense can’t really afford too much more trial and error.