During his time with the Chicago Bears, wide receiver Johnny Knox showed flashes of a dynamic wide receiver with big-play capability. However, following a devastating hit in December of 2011 and after undergoing an arduous rehab process, Knox has said that his playing career is over.
In talking with Sean Jensen of The Chicago Sun-Times, Knox admitted that this is a “hard pill to swallow,” but added it’s best for him to move on.
“As an athlete, you don’t want to give up, you want to keep on fighting. That’s how I’ve always been,” Knox says. “But it’s been on my heart for a while. I know how my body feels, and I know I’m not going to be the same and perform at the ability that I used to. So I’m moving on and going forward.”
Knox suffered what would end up being a career-ending back injury in December of 2011 during a contest against the Seattle Seahawks. He had spinal fusion surgery the next day which sidelined him through all of last season.
There was hope that Knox would be able to make a recovery to the point where he could return to football, but even after rehabbing he continues to walk with a limp and has trouble standing comfortably. He told Jensen that the only time he’s truly comfortable is when he’s lying down.
It’s an extremely sad story, but Knox is thankful that he can still have a relatively normal life. He said he was “centimeters away from being paralyzed.” His story certainly puts this game we all love into perspective.