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Bengals' John Ross tired of defending medical history

One Bengals rookie is doing his best to fight back against the perception that he's injury prone.

First round receiver John Ross, who had meniscus surgery and ACL surgery in 2015 and labrum surgery this past March, has grown tired of defending himself to reporters and anonymous eggs on Twitter.

"It gets frustrating because you can play a whole season and injuries could happen several years ago," Ross told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I don't feel the need to keep defending myself. Like I was telling the coaches you can get hurt doing anything, so I don't really feel the pressure to defend myself."

Ross, as the Enquirer noted, had his agent release a statement just before the draft. He also fought back against what he felt were misreported facts about previous medical issues during his opening press conference with Bengals reporters.

"I tore the labrum blocking and playing one of the most physical teams in our conference in Stanford," Ross said. "I don't think people understand. Some people don't watch the film so I feel like there's no need to defend yourself sometimes. Imagine if I was healthy is what I can pitch to people."

For NFL players, injuries are an especially sore subject. They have the ability not only to impact draft stock but to pollute their perception around the league. Add in the fact that Ross played hurt -- a point of pride and something extraordinarily difficult for college players to do -- and it must be difficult to have that shoved back in his face.

Most of these injuries are not preventable. Despite all of them, Ross put up 81 catches for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016. Unfortunately, flashing some of that same production and promise will be the only thing to truly quiet his doubters.

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