Former Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox said Wednesday that he is "moving on and going forward" from football. Knox's retirement announcement came about 14 months after his playing career was effectively ended by big collision on the field that bent his body almost in half backwards. He needed spinal fusion surgery the next day to fix his injury: a thoracic-lumbar junction fracture-dislocation with neurological involvement. Knox said he may have sustained permanent nerve damage in his back and was "centimeters" away from being paralyzed. He still finds sitting and standing uncomfortable and said the only time he doesn't feel pain is when he is lying flat on his back.
Knox, 26, spent his three NFL seasons with the Bears. He caught 133 receptions in 45 games for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best year came in 2010 when he led the Bears with 960 receiving yards.
Just reading that injury description makes me cringe. The link below has video of the hit on Knox, just in case you forgot how hellacious it was. It's an awful end to a career for a player who appeared to be blossoming. But Knox is staying positive, much more so than you would expect a competitive person in his situation to be.