Bengals place 2017 first-rounder John Ross on IR after disastrous rookie season

When the NFL hands out its offensive rookie of the year award this year, one guy who definitely won't be winning it is John Ross

The Bengals announced on Wednesday that Ross (shoulder) has been placed on injured reserve after a rookie season that can only be described as disastrous. Ross, who was the ninth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, only played in three games this season and was only on the field for a total of 17 snaps combined in those three games. 

If, for some reason, you had him on your fantasy roster, you may have noticed that he actually scored negative points this year. The Bengals rookie didn't catch a single pass and fumbled away his only touch of the season when he lost the ball on a running play back in a Week 2 game against the Texans

Although the Bengals loved Ross' speed -- he ran the fastest 40 in the history of NFL Combine back in February -- the team didn't seem to love much else about him once he showed up for training camp. 

The one odd thing about Ross being sent to injured reserve on Wednesday is that Marvin Lewis either didn't know it was about to happen or decided to play dumb during his press conference. When Lewis met with the media, he had mentioned that Ross might actually suit up for this week's game against the Bears after being a healthy scratch against the Steelers on Monday night. 

"There's a good opportunity for John to possibly be suited up this week," Lewis said, via the Dayton Daily News

The fact that Ross was a healthy scratch also raises some questions about when he got injured. According to the Bengals, he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, and we do know that it wasn't the same shoulder that he had surgically repaired in March. Since he was a healthy scratch in the Steelers game, that presumably means Ross suffered the injury at some point over the past 48 hours. 

Ross has been in Lewis' doghouse all season. Back in Week 10, Lewis called out Ross after he appeared to give up on his route in a game against the Titans

"John had a play we weren't very thrilled with," Lewis said at the time, via the Cincinnati Enquirer

"For Andy, against that coverage to throw him that football, he should understand how the quarterback feels about him," Lewis said. "That he expects him to be where he needs to be. He let his teammates down. He let me down. He let Andy down."

It's still not clear if the Bengals are going to let go of Lewis after the season, but the fact that the team's first round pick was a total failure on the year probably isn't going to help Lewis' cause.  

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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