Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Thursday that rookie first-round pick John Ross had been concealing a shoulder injury and didn’t “come clean” until after the Wednesday press conference in which Lewis said the wide receiver had a chance to play Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
“I think you guys must have tweeted it out and he must have got afraid,” Lewis joked with reporters Thursday, one day after the team put Ross on season-ending Injured Reserve.
Lewis said Ross, who took part in the Wednesday morning walk-through, had been feeling discomfort in his left shoulder for a while but tried to fight through it before deciding to have an MRI before Wednesday afternoon’s practice.
“In his mind he’s dealing with it,” Lewis said. “A couple weeks ago when it was raining and we were practicing on the grass, he said when he went to extend it for a deep pass. He ended up dropping it and said he felt hindered on that (left) side a little bit. He pointed to that to me when he came to my office and told me. He said ‘It’s just been bothering me. Now it’s getting to the point where I can’t sleep.’
While Ross didn’t mention the discomfort to Lewis, he brought it up to trainers who gave him a brace. But Lewis said he didn’t like wearing the brace.
He finished his rookie season appearing in three games with no catches on two targets and one carry while playing 17 snaps.