Reality has set in, and a devastating back injury has caused Johnny Knox to move on from professional football.
Two days ago, the Chicago Bears terminated the contract of wide receiver Johnny Knox (LINK), and it didn't take long after that before he said what many had hoped they would not hear: He's finished playing football.
In December 2011, Knox suffered a spinal injury after a collision with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove, and spent the entire 2012 season recovering from back surgery. The injury was just too much to overcome...
Johnny Knox looks like he's in game-shape when he appears in the dimly-lit entrance of a Chicago hotel restaurant Wednesday morning.
Except the always lean receiver walks with a limp, and he struggles to sit or stand comfortably, the lingering effects of a devastating hit he endured at Soldier Field 13 ½ months ago.
"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."
Knox goes on to acknowledge that he is very thankful for the Bears keeping him on the roster last season and paying his full salary, and said that he knew that the time would come that Phil Emery would terminate his contract. Was he bitter or angry?
"I was centimeters away from being paralyzed, so just sitting here and talking, I'm appreciative of that," he says. "Just the hard work that I had to put in. Just to be able to stay in and do everything in my daily life that I used to do."
"God has better plans for me," Knox says. "He wouldn't put me in a situation that I couldn't handle. I have a lot of opportunities out there. I got some nice things going on so I'm just looking forward to that."
Knox goes on to discuss some upcoming business opportunities, and his plans on staying in the Chicago area with his family. Make sure you check out the entire interview with Jensen here, and let us know what you think.
On behalf of our entire staff and community here at WCG, we wish Johnny and his family nothing but the best of wishes, and hopes of a speedy, and full, recovery.