The Chicago Bears placed receiver Johnny Knox on the active/physically unable to perform list as he continues rehabilitation from back surgery.
Knox says he’s making progress, but admits “there’s actually no schedule” for a complete recovery. He said he’s doing some light jogging, as well as gradually increasing his weight and strength.
“I’m still working. I don’t have that same burst that I used to have,” Knox related. “But that’s expected with this injury. I am jogging, moving around pretty good.” Football scores
Knox suffered a fractured vertebra on Dec. 18 that required surgery to repair. The injury came on a devastating hit from Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove that bent back Knox clumsily. In the result, Knox lay motionless on the turf at Soldier Field for several minutes as medical personnel worked on the receiver.
Knox admitted the experience was “frightening” but added an optimistic outlook has helped him to cope.
“Right now I’m setting small goals, taking it a little at a time,” Knox recounted. “At first, I knew it was going to be hard to run. But now I’m running well than I believed I might, getting my weight back a little more, doing heavier weights in the weight room. So I’m doing well.”
Prior to the injury, the club listed Knox at 185 pounds, but the receiver admits he lost approximately 30 pounds in the months after his surgery. A 3-year vet, Knox earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2009 as a kick returner, and is coming off a 2011 campaign in which he led the team with 729 receiving yards.
Knox indicated he’s experienced hard days so far in his recovery.
“Conscientiously (there have) been days where I’ve been down,” Knox expounded. “But for the most part, I always stay positive, stay motivated. That’s the reason why I’m out here today improving. It implies a lot to me (to be around teammates). Even though I’m injured, I’m so excited to come down here and be around the guys all day each day, and just focus on just strictly rehabbing.”
Fellow receiver Devin Hester says he’s noticed a gradual change in Knox’s confidence level throughout the rehabilitation process, but he is more interested in his teammate’s long term health than a fast return to the football field.
Through Knox’s ordeal, he and Hester stayed in close contact during the offseason.
“He’s gradually getting better. His confidence is absolutely building up,” Hester said. “He realizes the situation he’s in at this time. So I suspect that is a good ( }outlook for) Johnny, that he knows what his position is right now, and what is needed to get back to where he wants to be. Just him being around us is building his confidence up to get back out there far more. With that type of injury, you want to make sure you’re O.K. before you even think about football. So I know that’s in the back of his mind.”
GM Phil Emery acknowledged that Knox is making “steady progress” on Tuesday, but the club plans to take the receiver’s recovery every day. By placing Knox on the active PUP list, the Bears can call him up at any time.