The Bengals’ puzzling treatment of the 9th overall pick continues.
The Bengals were supposed to have a get-right game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Instead, the offense managed just 17 points against the league’s worst scoring defense and it took a miraculous 16-yard pick-six by Carlos Dunlap to save Cincinnati’s season.
Going into the contest, much was speculated about rookie John Ross. The first-round pick was active for the first time since Week 2, leaving many to wonder if he would have an impact in an offense that is in constant need of a spark.
Instead, Ross played less than 10 snaps. The speedster was mostly used to block, and his one target was knocked away by veteran corner Vontae Davis.
After Cincinnati’s 24-23 victory, there were two headlines about Ross – neither were good.
First, Marvin Lewis claimed Ross was only active because second-year receiver Cody Core was out and he was not part of the game plan, according to Jim Owczarski of The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Lewis claimed Ross needed significant practice reps before getting on the field. Ross had not missed a practice over the last two weeks, though. He was limited twice and a full-go four times. Apparently, not enough practice time to satisfy the 15-year head coach.
Lewis later mentioned in his post-game comments that he will “make call Saturday” if Ross will go against Jacksonville if Core were to return, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
Apparently, the see-saw battle between Lewis and Ross will continue. The rookie with record-breaking speed is now healthy, but his role in the league’s No. 31 ranked offense is still undefined.
No love for rookies
Core, who missed Sunday with a concussion, has yet to record a catch this season. The Bengals spent a high draft pick on Ross, but Lewis continues to pump the brakes – like he seems to do with most rookies – and that continues to be head-scratching for Cincinnati’s struggling offense.
The Jaguars have the NFL’s best scoring (15.7 points per game) and pass (161.7 yards per game) defense. Jacksonville’s pass rush has also registered a league-best 33 sacks.