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Bengals decline WR John Ross' fifth-year option

After having his first three seasons plagued by questionable health, John Ross' future in Cincinnati is now being called into question.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Saturday that the Bengals will not pick up Ross' fifth-year option, according to an informed source. He was drafted ninth overall out of Washington in 2017.

Early in the 2019 season, it appeared that the speedy wideout had shaken off the injury bug that limited his rookie season to three games, racking up more yards in his first two games (270) than he had in his first two years combined (210).

On October 2, after starting in the first four games, Ross again had his playing time impacted when he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He made his return in Week 14 and ended up starting the final four contests. He finished the season with 28 receptions for 506 yards and three touchdowns.

With 2020 first overall pick Joe Burrow officially in town, Ross, along with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd, will play a vital role in helping the young QB adjust to his team. Green's own injury history, as well as the addition of second-round pick Tee Higgins, makes Ross' presence this upcoming season even more crucial, provided that he can stay healthy.

As things currently stand, though, there's a good chance that Higgins' arrival could lead to Ross' departure from Cincy.

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