Ross previously underwent surgery on his right shoulder shortly after running a 4.22 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine, but the procedure didn't impact his draft stock with the Bengals nabbing him with the No. 9 overall pick in April. He resumed practicing in the second week of training camp, but then suffered a knee injury in the Bengals' preseason finale and subsequently missed five of the first six weeks of the regular season. Ross ultimately played just 17 snaps on offense in three appearances this season, with head coach Marvin Lewis keeping him out of the lineup for four of the team's last five contests. Lewis indicated Ross would reenter the game plan Sunday against Chicago, but the Bengals instead placed the speedy rookie on injured reserve after Wednesday's workout. It sounds like the upcoming procedure is considered minor, which bodes well for Ross' chances to make a full recovery before OTAs begin next spring. His medical history remains a massive concern, as he entered the league with an ACL tear, two meniscus tears and microfacture surgery on his record before undergoing his first shoulder surgery.
Previous reports indicated that the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft would likely play this weekend, but the team has decided to shut Ross down, with an eye toward having the speedster in top shape/health for the 2018 campaign. With his blazing speed, it's believed that Ross will emerge as a dangerous weapon in the Bengals' wideout corps opposite top option A.J. Green, but down the stretch this year, Brandon LaFell figures to retain the team's No. 2 wideout job, with the likes of Tyler Boyd, Josh Malone and Alex Erickson also in the mix at the position.
Ross (shoulder) did not practice Wednesday.
That said, coach Marvin Lewis indicated that the rookie wideout is slated to play Sunday against the Bears after being made a healthy scratch three straight games. The No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft brings blazing speed to the table, which gives him the potential to emerge as a dangerous weapon in the Bengals' wideout corps down the road, but Ross' opportunity to make a fantasy mark this season is now limited. If he does play this weekend, a wait-and see approach is in order, though if Ross shows something in the process, the 23-year-old could earn a longer look in the team's last three regular-season contests.
Ross (coach's decision) is inactive for Monday's game against the Steelers, Jay Morrison of the Dayton Daily News reports.
Ross has regularly been a healthy scratch this season, and that's unlikely to change unless the Bengals fall out of playoff contention or an injury strikes a receiver above him on the depth chart.
Ross (coach's decision) is inactive Sunday against the Browns.
Ross has only suited up three times this year, and has yet to record a catch on just two targets. The Bengals will instead operate with a passing game led by A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell, with Tyler Boyd and Alex Erickson serving as complementary options. Ross doesn't have much fantasy value in redraft leagues at this point, and Jim Owczarski of The Cincinnati Enquirer even goes as far as suggesting he won't be used until the Bengals are out of playoff contention.
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