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Marvin Lewis: John Ross 'was not a miss' by Bengals

Few players generated more hype last offseason than John Ross.

Instead of barnstorming the league, though, Cincinnati's first-round wideout operated as a ghost during an injury-plagued, disappointing rookie campaign.

The wayward debut served as a troubling start for Ross, but Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis refused to write off his young pass-catcher.

"John Ross was not a miss, he got hurt," Lewis said Friday from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, per ESPN's Katherine Terrell.

Ross never achieved liftoff, undergoing surgery on his right shoulder last offseason before winding up on injured reserve with an injury to the opposite shoulder that also required an operation.

Tough sledding for the rookie who barely played and failed to catch a pass in 2017, but Ross is fully expected to be ready for organized team activities, and he will benefit from a full offseason of work.

Lewis is right to defend his young wideout. It was a massively disappointing start, but we haven't seen Ross operate on the field at full health. Year 2 is bound to be better -- it couldn't be much worse.

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