If there’s one thing that gets under a coach’s craw, it’s stupid mistakes – like the one that Green Bay Packers kick returner/Jeremy Ross committed on the first kickoff to Green Bay yesterday at Cincinnati.
Well, Ross won’t have to worry about making those types of mistakes in the future because he was released this afternoon by the Packers.
Ross’s muff of the kickoff was recovered by the Bengals inside the Packers five yard line and led to their second score of the game. The costly mistake came right on the heels of the Bengals first touchdown of the game – in fact, with the rushing touchdown on the very next play, Cincinnati scored two touchdowns over the course of 12 seconds and gave them a 14-0 lead before Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense even hit the field.
Many were surprised that the Packers kept Ross at the end of training camp, but he seemed to be the only viable option in the kick and punt return game – at least the only player who seemed adequate enough to replace Randall Cobb, who is seen too valuable to risk on returns.
The press release from the Packers stated that Ross played in eight regular season games over the past two seasons, averaging 17.9 yards on nine kickoff returns, 20.5 yards on six punt returns and one catch as a receiver for 8 yards.
In addition to his muff yesterday, Ross was also involved in a couple of bad plays last season. He fumbled a lateral pass from Cobb in a game against the Chicago Bears that nearly cost the Packers the game and he also fumbled a punt inside the 10 in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers that turned the momentum in that game.
Ross came into the league as an undrafted free agent from Cal in 2011. He has been with New England and Indianapolis. The Packers signed him to their roster from the practice squad late last season.
How the team addresses its kick and punt returns from here on out is yet to be determined, but it’s possible that rookie Johnathan Franklin may play a role. However, he has had his own ball security issues – he didn’t show a real knack for catching punts and kicks in training camp and fumbled yesterday when attempting to convert a fourth and inches.
Stay tuned …