Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick John Ross returned to action but played just five snaps and finishing with no catches on one target in Sunday’s 24-23 victory against Indianapolis at Paul Brown Stadium.
“John got to dress today because I chose to suit him up, and Cody (Core) couldn’t go,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “He’ll continue to practice and get an opportunity as it goes. But he was not part of the plan going into the game.”
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Fellow rookie Josh Malone was. The fourth-rounder recorded his first-career reception in the first quarter and topped that with his first career touchdown in the third to put the Bengals in front 17-13.
The score came when Malone reacted to a badly underthrown ball that was the result of quarterback Andy Dalton being hit as he released it.
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“I saw the ball and the way it was dropping and I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve got to get up under this,’” Malone said. “It was a post, and I just flattened it and got under it. I just thanked Andy for giving me the opportunity to make a play.”
It was the second consecutive game in which Malone played after being inactive for the first five.
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“It wasn’t hard to stay patient,” Malone said. “Just watching the older guys like Brandon (LaFell) and A.J. (Green) is a good learning experience to see how they carry themselves and how they run their routes and how they get open. Once I got out on the field, I felt like once I got the opportunity, I took advantage of it.”