After suffering a horrific back injury against the Seahawks on December 18th, it wasn’t clear if Johnny Knox would play football again. Days after an emergency procedure to fuse his spine, the Bears said Johnny would be good to go for the 2012 season. Not so fast.
According to multiple sources close to Knox, the Bears leading wide receiver from 2011 will start the 2012 campaign in the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. What does that mean? At a minimum, if he is placed on the PUP list, he will miss the first 6 weeks of the season. It’s entirely possible that he could miss the entire season if his rehab doesn’t go well.
At this point, Knox hasn’t been cleared for football activities and continues to walk with a limp. According to Vaughn McClure, there was more damage to Knox’s back than originally anticipated which has slowed his offseason progress.
The Bears have conducted their free agent business as if they’re preparing for life without Knox. Besides picking up a much needed #1 wide receiver in Brandon Marshall, they’ve also picked up another backup wide receiver and kick returner and special teams ace in Eric Weems. Don’t expect more Devin Hester on kick returns, with Weems as the front runner to take over Knox’s duties as the primary kick return man.
Here’s to wishing Knox a speedy recovery.