Cincinnati Bengals

Bengals’ Lewis says rookie WR Ross had been concealing injury to shoulder

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross had been concealing an injury to his left shoulder and finally “came clean” Wednesday, coach Marvin Lewis told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday.

Ross was placed on injured reserve Wednesday just hours after Lewis said the rarely used rookie could get a chance to play this weekend.

The injury is not related to the right shoulder injury that caused Ross to have surgery prior to the 2017 NFL draft and pushed back his Bengals practice debut until late training camp.

The No. 9 pick in the draft, has been dealing with symptoms for a few weeks, but he came to Lewis on Wednesday and said that the pain in his left shoulder had gotten to the point where he could no longer sleep.

Ross got an MRI after Lewis addressed the media indicating that Ross might play. He went through the walkthrough that day, but he did not complete practice, and the decision was made to place him on injured reserve.

Lewis said the first indication that something was wrong occurred a few weeks ago. Ross also spoke to the trainers at one point and they got him a brace, but he preferred not to wear that, according to Lewis.

“He said when he went to extend [the shoulder] for a deep pass he ended up dropping, he said he felt hindered on that side a little bit,” Lewis said. “He pointed to that to me when he came to my office and told me. I said, ‘How long?’ He said, ‘It’s just been bothering me. Now it’s getting to the point where I can’t sleep.'”

Ross had been a healthy scratch for most of the year after recovering from a knee injury that he sustained in the final preseason game. He had surgery on his right shoulder prior to the draft, and this new injury is somewhat related because instability in that shoulder could have led to weakness in the left shoulder.

“He’s had this and dealt with it,” Lewis said. “In his mind, he’s dealing with it. He felt it not getting better, but making it harder to sleep, so he wanted to get it looked at again and have the scans compared.”

Lewis said Ross downplayed his symptoms because he badly wanted to get back on the field, but decided to end his season now and start over next season.

“He wanted to play. He wanted to keep going,” Lewis said. “He was having a hard time sleeping. He said the players kept telling him, you have to say something and see what is going on.

“Now you get a chance to be healthy and ready to go whenever the offseason starts in 2018. It’s for him a fresh start.”

Ross played in just three games this season with two targets, no catches and one carry for 12 yards.

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