The fastest man in NFL Combine history will likely be sidelined to open the season.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross is expected to miss at least the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens with a knee sprain, according to a source informed of the decision. The first-round rookie is likely to miss Week 2 as well, per Rapoport, with a potential return for the team's first road game in Week 3 at Lambeau Field.
The Bengals snagged Ross with No. 9 overall pick to pair his blazing speed with All-Pro talent A.J. Green, in hopes of opening up the offense for quarterback Andy Dalton.
Ross missed most of the offseason workouts due to shoulder surgery following his college career at Washington. After finally practicing in mid-August, Ross exited the team's preseason finale because of a knee injury suffered on a 25-yard run.
During the Bengals' preseason opener, director of player personnel Duke Tobin glowed about Ross, noting that his pre-draft comparison for the first-year receiver was long-time Indianapolis Colts great Marvin Harrison -- Tobin was a former scout for the Colts. The comparison explains why Cincy brass was so high on Ross, making him a top-10 selection.
The question for the Bengals is whether Ross' series of injuries will set back his growth to the point that it hinders his rookie-year playing time.
Here are the other injuries we're monitoring Tuesday:
- Cam Newton told reporters he has "no concern" abut his shoulder following offseason surgery. "I'm just trying to be proactive with every second I have," he said. "I'm making it my mission to be more consistent." Newton is slated to start Week 1 vs. the 49ers.