Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said he was aware of the report from Pro Football Talk that the team considered giving rookie first-round wide receiver John Ross some reps at cornerback, something Marvin Lewis joked about at his Wednesday press conference due to the team’s injury problems.
But Guenther scoffed at the notion there was any thought given to Ross switching positions.
It was simply a contingency plan for an injury-riddled secondary that was without starting safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) and starting cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) and Adam Jones (groin) and backup Darqueze Dennard (knee).
“At the beginning of the week we only had a certain amount of DBs we were going to have available, so we tried to scour the roster and see if guys who may have played DB in college,” Guenther said.
Ross started four games at corner and three at wide receiver during his freshman year at Washington.
“We had a couple other receivers we talked about taking reps at safety just in case in an emergency situation,” Guenther said. “You have to have your bases covered.”
Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green played safety on a Chicago’s Hail Mary attempt on the final play of the first half and registered a pass defended. And offensive lineman Alex Redmond played defensive tackle in the goal-line package in the second half.
The Bengals called up cornerback Tony McRae from the practice squad on Saturday after placing Jones on season-ending IR, so had Ross not gone on IR earlier in the week, Guenther could have used him in the Bears game if he lost another corner.
“I said ‘that’ll be the call of the year if I get John Ross a sack on a corner blitz,’” Guenther laughed.
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