John Ross Reportedly to Rejoin Bengals from Reserve/COVID-19 List

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2020

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross (11) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)
Bryan Woolston/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross III is set to return to the team after leaving training camp earlier this month:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

From Inside Training camp on @nflnetwork: A Reddit user with the scoop on #Bengals WR John Ross returning to the team. Ross will be back soon, provided he can pass the requisite tests to get off the COVID-19 list. If he starts testing today, he could be back as soon as Saturday. https://t.co/ZVGOp6HVwH

Ross left after his son and the boy's mother both tested positive for the coronavirus, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will have to go through the protocol to rejoin his teammates, including having multiple negative tests.

The 25-year-old is heading into the final year of his rookie contract after the Bengals declined his fifth-year option.

Ross had high expectations as the No. 9 pick in 2017, but he had zero catches in just three appearances during his rookie year and has seen inconsistent playing time since then. He played eight games in 2019, which was shortened because of a sternoclavicular injury.

He has played well when given the chance, scoring seven touchdowns in 2018 before totaling 506 receiving yards in just half a season last year. His 18.1 yards per reception would have ranked fourth in the NFL with enough catches to qualify.

However, he could struggle to get playing time in 2020, with A.J. Green returning after missing all of 2019 because of an ankle injury. Tyler Boyd also returns, while rookie second-round pick Tee Higgins should fight for playing time immediately.

Ross might have significant ground to make up after missing more than a week of practices.