As Bengals receiver John Ross tries to turn the page on a disappointing rookie season, he’s already ahead in one key respect.
As noted by Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Ross participated in 11-on-11 drills for the first time this season on May 22. Last year, it didn’t happen until August 14.
“It’s been a while,” coach Marvin Lewis said, via Owczarski. “He’s had so few snaps around 11 guys on the other side of the ball, so this was great work for him and great experience for him that he was not able to get a year ago. He’s had so few of these days. . . . This is a good chance for him over the next nine days to get another opportunity to play 11-on-11 football that he hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunity to do.”
Injuries contributed to ineffectiveness for Ross as a rookie, making the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft a borderline bust. This year, he’s looking to make some significant steps forward.
“The steps forward have to come out here,” Lewis said. “There’s nothing he did otherwise that’s going to show anything different but just coming out here and getting comfortable playing football again. And doing it and making the adjustments and doing all the things he has to do as a receiver.”
The blazing fast receiver, if healthy, could become a major factor for the Bengals. Given all the attention that defenses devote to containing A.J. Green, Ross could get plenty of favorable matchups, if/when he’s healthy and able to contribute.