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Johnny Knox unlikely to play in NFL again but isn’t giving up

Johnny Knox was tackled as he was bent backward in late 2011. (Kiichiro Sato / AP)

Wide receiver Johnny Knox  was released by the Chicago Bears on Tuesday and, although one report indicates that it seems unlikely that he will play in the NFL again, another indicates that he wants to give it a try.

Knox suffered one of the scariest injuries of the 2011 season when he was bent backward on a hit by Anthony Hargrove of the Seattle Seahawks in a Dec. 18 game. He suffered a thoracic-lumbar junction fracture/dislocation with neurological involvement and, during spinal-fusion surgery, additional ligament and soft tissue damage was discovered. He spent the 2012 season rehabbing.

“He had to work himself back up to where he could even walk,” former receivers coach Darryl Drake told the Chicago Tribune. “He had to work to get himself up out of bed. Hopefully, he’ll continue to work and get himself back to where he can have the quality of life that he needs to have.”


His agent told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times that his client isn’t giving up on an NFL career.

“He’s going with the mind-set that he’s playing in 2013,” Marc Lillibridge said. “He’s going to try to give it until July and see where he’s at. But if his body doesn’t allow it, then he’ll adjust.”

Knox will undergo an important evaluation in March. “That’s one [where] the doctors will give him a percentage,” Lillibridge said, “or they may advise him not to play again.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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