Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox has decided he cannot come back from the spinal fusion surgery that caused him to miss all of last season.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Knox is still walking with a limp and is still in pain. He was released Tuesday by the Bears.
“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.”
The Sun-Times reported that Knox has rehabbed diligently from the hit that he feared at first left him paralyzed 13 1/2 months ago. The relief of moving his legs has changed to frustration of being in constant pain since the surgery.
Knox plans to remain in the Chicago area with his wife and two children, and he is currently an investor in the launch of a new supplement company, Healthy 74. (Knox’s agent Bill) Horn says he’s been approached by some spinal injury-related foundations about partnering up with Knox, and he’s finalizing some goodwill trips. He is scheduled to join a handful of NFL players, including former Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, on a trip to Uganda with Pros for Africa and Starkey — the maker of hearing aids — in March. Then, in May, along with the Robert and Mayari Pritzker Family Foundation, he will visit troops abroad with former Bears players.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor