John Ross used the NFL Scouting Combine to raise his profile as a prospect last year.
The Bengals subsequently took the University of Washington receiver in the top 10 of the draft, certainly in no small part because of the blazing speed he showed off when running the fastest 40-yard dash on record.
The rest of the year didn’t go so well.
He was limited most of the season by injury and ended up on Injured Reserve after shoulder surgery.
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Bengals.com provided an update on his rehab recently as the team prepares to evaluate 2018 prospects at this year's combine.
Ross is rehabbing from December shoulder surgery and the belief is he'll be back running routes in the spring. Being ready for training camp is a given. Those are two things that didn't happen after he ran the 4.22. He had the other shoulder repaired a week after the combine, he could only be around two weeks in the spring because of NFL rules, and he didn't get on the field for the first time until the second week of training camp.
Ross said the offseason injuries had a domino effect on his season.
He was cleared to return to the field, but his body wasn’t really ready for the rigors of an NFL training camp or season.
"That was the problem," Ross says. "My body didn't respond the way I wanted it to. Coming in late, I didn't get to train. I was out of shape. That was pretty tough on my body. Rushing into it. Being out of shape. My body couldn't take the physical aspects of the game we do every day. I thought I could. I think it kind of wore me out faster than I thought. I really didn't catch up until the end of the year when I started to have better practices. It all started to click together. It was already kind of too late. It was best to rest, get my body right."
Will we see a new John Ross this fall?
Only time will tell, but there is precedent for a Bengal bouncing back from an injury-marred first year in the NFL.
Cornerback William Jackson III had a strong 2017 after missing ’16 with a torn pec muscle.
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