Johnny Knox still plans on playing in 2013

AP

The Bears’ decision to cut ties with wide receiver Johnny Knox now despite having him under contract for the 2013 season doesn’t send the best message about Knox’s readiness to play after rehabbing for more than a year after a spinal fusion operation.

Knox isn’t ready to let the 2011 hit from Anthony Hargrove that led to the surgery be his final NFL play, though. Knox has always maintained that he hopes to come back and play again, something that hasn’t been shaken by his release from the Bears.

“He’s going with the mindset that he’s playing in 2013,” Knox’s agent Marc Lillibridge told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Jensen reports that Knox has an important physical assessment next month and the results of that should offer more of an idea about whether or not Knox is able to play during the 2013 season. He will continue his rehab in the Chicago area ahead of that assessment in hopes of putting a happier ending on his story than the one he got on the field in December 2011.