Cincinnati Bengals rookie first-round pick John Ross made his debut Thursday night in the 13-9 loss to Houston, but it's one he'd rather forget.
On his first NFL touch, Ross showed off his speed when he ran around the left end and got into the secondary. But Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson hit Ross after a 12-yard gain and popped the ball loose. Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney plucked it out of the air and returned it 49 yards to the Cincinnati 20 to set up Houston’s first points of the game.
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“I should have been higher and tighter with the ball,” Ross said. “But that was a good play by (Jackson). He got his helmet on the ball.”
The fumble came with 4:46 left in the first quarter. Ross didn’t step on the field again until the second half, playing one snap in the third quarter and one in the fourth without another touch or target.
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“I think it would be tough for anybody to have to sit on the sideline,” Ross said. “So that’s a learning experience. It’s no one’s fault but mine. You have to sit there and blame yourself because I did it.
“It was my first game,” he added. “I got my feet wet a little bit. You always want to learn from stuff like this. I was also told that one play doesn’t make your NFL career. I get to grow from this. I’ve got a lot more opportunities coming.”
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While Ross was active for the first time, Tyler Boyd, last year’s second-round pick, was inactive for the first time. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said after the game it was not medical related without elaborating.