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Spadaro: John Ross takes the next step in his comeback

John Ross
John Ross

Understanding that he had to take the long road back to an NFL roster, wide receiver John Ross accepted an invitation to the Eagles' recent rookie minicamp as a tryout player, knowing that he had to be on point in everything he did to attract interest from a team deep at the position.

It worked.

Ross signed a one-year contract on Thursday, another step forward for Ross, the ninth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by Cincinnati who retired from the league in 2023 after 37 games, 62 receptions, 957 yards, and 11 touchdowns with the Bengals (four seasons), the New York Giants (one season), and Kansas City (signed a futures contract in January, 2023 and informed the team he was retiring seven months later).

The 5-11, 194-pound Ross is known for speed, speed, and more speed as he registered a then-NFL Combine-record 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash (a record recently broken by first-round pick Xavier Worthy this year). Ross, who caught 81 passes for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns in his final season at the University of Washington, was the third wide receiver taken in that draft.

Injuries, however, limited Ross throughout his seasons in Cincinnati, and his best two years came in 2018 when he produced seven touchdown catches among his 21 receptions and then in 2018 when Ross had 28 catches for 508 yards, averaging more than 18 yards per reception.

Big plays are a big part of what Ross can do, when healthy. He's averaged 15.4 yards per reception in his career, and averaged more than 20 yards per catch when he had 11 receptions for 224 yards in New York during the 2021 season, the last time Ross has played in an NFL regular-season game.

With the recent retirement of DeVante Parker, whom the Eagles placed on the Reserve/Retired list on Wednesday, a roster spot opened and the Eagles moved quickly to add Ross, who looks to continue his comeback one step at a time in Philadelphia.

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