Bears' Knox will open season on PUP list
Chicago Bears: Johnny Knox will open season on PUP list - chicagotribune.com
Yep we're gonna have to change those draft plans a bit and weigh what's more important. A DE or WR?
By Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune reporter 12:18 a.m. CDT, March 26, 2012
Bears wide receiver/kick returner Johnny Knox, who continues to slowly recover from December spinal fusion surgery, is scheduled to start the regular season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, according to multiple sources familiar with Knox's progress.
It has long been speculated Knox wouldn't be ready for the start of the season considering the severity of his injury. He was forced to wear a back brace after the surgery and continues to walk with a limp now. But there was more structural damage than initially anticipated, according to one source.
Knox could not be reached for comment.
There is a strong chance Knox won't play in 2012, but placing him on the PUP list would leave open a return to the field if Knox's recovery is accelerated. He would have to sit out the first six weeks of the regular season once designated to the PUP list.
For now, training camp looks like more time for Knox to continue to put in the hard work to recover from an injury he initially feared would paralyze him.
Knox took to Twitter in February to update his status to fans. He said he needed to wear the back brace until mid-March.
When one fan asked specifically about returning for the season, Knox tweeted, "I'm focusing on getting 100% first."
Srdjan Mirkovic, the Bears' spine consultant and certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, performed the one-level vertebral fusion on Knox. The initial outlook for Knox was three to four months of recovery just to walk normally again, but the discovery of the structural damage affected the timetable. Knox will not need a follow-up procedure at this time.
Alex Ghanayem, a spine surgeon at Loyola University Medical Center, told the Tribune immediately after Knox's injury that a six-month window would be the optimistic minimum before a player could return to football-related contact after sustaining such an injury.
Knox finished last season with an average of 19.6 yards per catch, second-best in the NFL. He caught 37 passes for 727 yards with two touchdowns despite not being a favorite in then-offensive coordinator Mike Martz's offense. Knox also returned 15 kickoffs for 397 yards with an average of 26.5 yards per return.
The Bears are well-prepared to move on without Knox in the passing game after the addition of three-time Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall as a vertical threat. New offensive coordinator Mike Tice plans to utilize Devin Hester more on offense as well, and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates also has raved about Hester's potential in the revamped offense.
Eric Weems was signed to help handle the kick-return duties in place of Knox. Hester isn't expected to play a significant role on kickoff returns but will remain as the primary punt returner.
Knox, a former fifth-round pick, is entering the final year of his rookie deal and has a base salary of $1.26 million in 2012. The one-time Pro Bowl pick was offered a four-year contract worth $4 million per season prior to the injury but did not accept the offer.
According to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, any player placed on a PUP list will be paid his full salary while on the list.
That sucks and I wish Knox a full recovery. Was hoping he would be back but I'm not surprised. Bummer none the less.
Sanz just made the team!
Last edited by MPBears68; 03-26-2012 at 01:06 AM.
Tough break for Johnny Knox. Everything seemed to be looking up until this last round of complications.
Well that tells us exactly why Emery went after Weems immediately and took a pass on re-signing Graham. It would also explain why the Bears are at least spending some time checking out WR prospects although it shouldn't take a first round pick to draft another WR who could fill Knox role.
I guess what we have to be concerned with now is the chance that he may never recover enough to play again or at least not at the level he did. With his lack of size speed is his best weapon and if that goes his career may go with it. So as it stands Hester gets to take over Knox's role as the deep threat which leaves Sanz and Weems to fill the slot.
I can see the need for us to pick up another WR somewhere in the first four rounds now more than I could before but it still shouldn't be necessary to take one in the first round.
Not to put down Knox in anyway but it appears the Bears made the same offer to him that Bennett accepted but he turned it down. This should be a good example of how much risk these guys are under and how turning down a fair offer in hopes of a bigger payday as a FA is not always the best course of action. That decision is costing Knox a little less than $3 mil this year.
Matt Forte can consider himself lucky. He was very very close to having his knee blown up on the tackle that injured him. If he's have had his foot planted and making a cut when it happened it may have been Gale Sayers time all over again.
I understand the desire to maximize your earnings in what is usually a fairly short career but I think some of these guys are getting very bad counsel from their agents when they begin to weigh risk vs reward IF they weigh it at all. Because of the injury Earl Bennett sustained early last years I think the risks he was under hit home and the chance to secure a bit more of his future at a fair price was attractive. Then we see two others who apparently didn't analyze the risk as well. One may never play the game again and the other avoided that catastrophe by a very small margin.
Greed can be an unforgiving foe. Pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
High Fives / Like - 1 BEAR DOWN!, 0 Dislikes
Yea that's the first time I've seen the actual numbers that were offered by JA in the contract extension. Wow 4yr - $16 million extension and he turned it down.
I'm not so sure he'll play again.
Winston Churchill: "Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak."
"If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain."
I am not sure if I was Knox that I would ever want to return. One wrong hit and you could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. The money isn't worth it.
Guys like this have a drive to play and excel. He'll want to play; what I worry about is if he'll be able to NOT hear the feet coming for him when he has to reach for a ball that isn't perfectly placed.
Get healthy Knox.
Get a WR in 1 or 2.
Yeah, I'm still fine waiting until the 2nd or 3rd to grab a receiver. Would much rather grab a DE or OL in the first.
Still much improved over last year (and the decade or so before that).
"Give 100%. 110% is impossible. Only idiots recommend that." - Ron Swanson
I think weve seen the last of Knox unfortunatly
If he comes back i dont know if anyone could recover mentally
Wr at 19.
Bingo. The Weems signing makes a lot of sense now. The Bears undoubtedly knew about Knox's condition long before we did. I'm afraid he may never be back, or never 100% back anyway. It's a shame cuz he could have been used more productively this year.
Originally Posted by Papa Bear