Bears give up on Johnny Knox; release wideout
Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – The Chicago Bears have terminated the final year of receiver Johnny Knox’s contract.
He received $1.26 million despite missing the entire 2012 season due to spinal fusion surgery to stabilize a fractured vertebra.
Knox suffered the injury during the Bears’ Dec. 18, 2011 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field after a vicious collision with defensive end Anthony Hargrove.
He recalled the experience as “frightening” back in July, but was optimistic about an eventual return.
The initial prognosis was that it would take approximately six months to begin rehabilitating for a return to the game. But the injury was more severe than originally anticipated. He lost 30 pounds of muscle, and suffered nerve damage that caused him to walk gingerly.
Knox started in 27 of 45 games from 2009-11 with the Bears, catching 133 passes for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 16.6 yards per catch with the Bears, which ranked as the seventh-best average in the NFL over that span.
He earned Pro Bowl recognition as a rookie kick returner in 2009, and over his career returned 55 kickoffs for 1,506 yards.