Bengals’ WR John Ross Leaves Team To Care For Son

Bengals WR John Ross is stepping away from the team for a bit, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter). Ross’ son has tested positive for COVID-19, so Ross is heading to Los Angeles to care for him (the child’s mother has also tested positive). There is currently no timetable on Ross’ return, and the club is likely to place him on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Ross’ decision is admirable, especially since it comes during a pivotal time in his NFL career. The No. 9 overall pick of the 2017 draft, Ross has fallen well short of expectations to date, and Cincinnati made the easy call to decline his fifth-year option for 2021. So this will be a contract year for Ross, who could position himself well for a big payday next offseason if he can get on the field and start living up to his potential.

Of course, health has played a big part in Ross’ struggles to date. Due to various injuries and his inability to impress then-head coach Marvin Lewis, Ross played in just one game in his rookie campaign. Though he started 10 games in 2018, he managed only 21 catches for 210 yards — which was a disappointment in terms of both overall output and yards-per-catch average — and after a hot start to 2019, he missed another eight games due to injury.

Now, A.J. Green is back to full health and the Bengals added Tee Higgins in the second round of this year’s draft, so Ross may have struggled to carve out a ton of playing time anyway. His absence will only make things more difficult from a football perspective, but obviously the health of his family is of paramount importance.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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9 comments on “Bengals’ WR John Ross Leaves Team To Care For Son

  1. JJB0811

    I hope the NFL has agreements that players can opt out if these problems occur. Glad to hear he’s helping his family and wish them all the best.

    • Boston1897

      Believe they can opt out if them or family member get sick or diagnosed as high risk and get the high risk payout

      • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

        Cut and pasted from a PFR article from July 24 (I haven’t read anything that indicates this has changed):

        “There will be an opt-out exception for certain players. Players will be able to opt out beyond the early-August deadline, and apparently into the regular season, if a family member develops complications from the virus.”

  2. Wyoming Bison Expansion Team

    Aj Green is back to full health.

    They draft Tee Higgins.

    No mention of Tyler Boyd who caught 90 passes, 1,046 yards, and 5 TDs for them last year when discussing Ross’s chances of seeing playing time.

    • ffjsisk

      He had 28 catches for 506 with 3 TD’s in 8 games last year. Quick math suggests he’d have been over 1,000 if he played all 16. Not to mention that their QB play was awful last year. He’s 25…this year could be a breakout for him.

      • wagner13

        The talent isn’t in question. It’s about staying healthy and avoiding mental lapses in concentration. He plays similarly to Desean Jackson, where he’ll explode in one game before disappearing in the next. We’ll just have to see how the season unfolds

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