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Katherine Terrell, ESPN Staff Writer 309d

Bengals WR John Ross likely to make debut vs. Texans

NFL, Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI -- Bengals rookie wide receiver John Ross will likely make his season debut against the Houston Texans on Thursday night, a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

Ross, who set a record with a 4.22 second 40-yard dash at the combine and is one of the fastest players in the NFL, missed the season opener against the Ravens after spraining his knee in the preseason finale on Aug. 31.

Coach Marvin Lewis said prior to the Week 1 game that Ross could play after returning to practice, however he was made a game-day inactive.

Ross was a full participant in the Bengals' light practices this week, which was a good indication he could soon make his debut.

The NFL Network first reported that Ross would likely play vs. the Texans on Thursday.

The Bengals have been very cautious with Ross after they selected him with the ninth overall pick of the 2017 draft. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum after the NFL scouting combine in March and was not cleared for full contact until Aug. 14.

He made his preseason debut against the Redskins in Game 3 and did not catch any passes but had an 8-yard gain on a jet sweep.

Ross gained 25 yards on another jet sweep in the preseason finale vs. the Colts, but injured his knee on the play. He also caught one pass for six yards.

Ross' latest injury is likely part of the reason the Bengals kept seven wide receivers, including fellow rookie Josh Malone, on the active roster heading into Week 1. Ross has speed and ability to stretch the field.

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