Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross was among the names mentioned by head coach Andy Reid when it came to which players would start the 2022 edition of training camp on the injured list. The Chiefs signed Ross as an undrafted free agent out of Clemson in early May — and he instantly captured the attention of the team’s most diehard fans.
The news wasn’t all that much of a surprise, considering Ross was recently spotted in a walking boot after he missed the final media look of Chiefs’ OTAs and all three days of mandatory minicamp.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed Justyn Ross had foot surgery to correct surgery that happened in late November 2021. This photo (IG: will_finley6) had been circulating in recent weeks.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 22, 2022
"It's going to take time [to heal]," Reid said. pic.twitter.com/oB8qLAQ0R1
As mentioned in the above tweet, Reid noted the injury did not occur as Ross participated in the first two weeks of organized team activities (OTAs).
“It was a little bit off of the surgery he had before — it wasn’t functioning quite the way [he wanted],” said Reid. “It was bothering him. It wasn’t working quite the way he wanted it, so they went in and re-did it — and we’re hoping this works out well.”
For all the buzz connected to Ross — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had said Ross could become the “greatest free agent ever” after registering more than 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 38 college games — it did not translate during my looks in OTAs.
Mahomes on Ross: "The way he catches the football out of the air -- he snatches it. There's no drops... Now it's about him learning the NFL offense. That's how it is for every rookie... you don't see that top talent they can be until they learn and can just play fast."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 26, 2022
Reid later politely said Ross was “knocking the rust off,” but we now know the Chiefs eventually felt as though perhaps his play had to do with a lingering problem in his foot that went as far back as November 2021.
Ross overcame a congenital fusion procedure on his spine that cost him all of 2020 to return for 10 games that season before the foot injury.
Not a great look at the end of the 1st half as Clemson WR Justyn Ross has a boot on his left foot and is walking with the assistance of crutches.— Todd Summers (@ToddSummers7) November 13, 2021
The Tigers lead UConn 30-7 at the break.@WSPA7 pic.twitter.com/uMcK20ZEek
During the draft process, only four teams cleared Ross medically — and the Chiefs were one of them. Now Ross and Kansas City have hit the reset button, and Reid added there is no timetable on the wide receiver.
“It is going to take time,” said Reid. “It’s going to take time.”
In our first iteration of the 2022 53-man roster projection that was published on Tuesday, we placed Ross on the Reserve/Injured list at the final cutdown.