Back in February, MDS shared a report about Johnny Knox’s long road to recovery after he cracket a facet joint in his spinal column late in the 2011 season.
It’s more than a month later and the outlook hasn’t gotten any better for the Bears wide receiver. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports that Knox will start the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Knox is walking with a limp and there was more structural damage to the back than initially thought. Per McClure, there’s a “strong chance” that Knox misses the 2012 season.
The Bears have made moves to cover themselves in the event that comes to pass. The Brandon Marshall trade gives them the wideout they needed even if Knox was going to be 100 percent healthy while signing Eric Weems assures them of a kickoff returner without overworking Devin Hester.
Knox’s health is obviously the most important thing for his future, but the injury definitely comes at a bad moment in his career. Knox is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season and he reportedly turned down a four-year offer from the team before his injury. He’s not likely to get that kind of commitment again coming off this injury, even if he is able to defy the pessimistic reports and make it back on the field for the Bears.