ESPN is reporting that the Chicago Bears have parted ways with wide receiver Johnny Knox.
Knox, who hasn’t stepped on the field since having surgery for a serious back injury in 2011, had his contract terminated by the team on Tuesday morning.
ESPN notes he received $1.26 million despite spending the entire 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list.
His injury happened against the Seattle Seahawks in December 2011. After a fumble, Knox made a diving attempt to retrieve the loose ball and was hit by Anthony Hargrove and bent backward.
Following the injury, Knox underwent spinal fusion surgery to stabilize a fractured vertebra. Though the initial prognosis was that it would take approximately six months just to recover, it was later discovered his injury was more severe than originally anticipated as he suffered from some nerve damage during the hit.
Over the course of his career, the 26-year-old wideout has 133 receptions for 2,214 yards and was a contributor on special teams with 55 kickoff returns for 1,506 yards.
Despite the devastating injury and lengthy recovery ahead of him, Knox told the Sun-Times in December that he still wanted to play. His first priority, however, is his health.
“The toughest thing has been coming to rehab every day knowing that I can’t go out there and practice or play in games and help my team win,” said Knox, who made the Pro Bowl in 2009 as a returner. “But I’ve had a lot of support from my teammates, friends and family. I know I’ve got to look at the big picture, and that’s my health.”
Here’s to wishing Johnny Knox a safe and healthy recovery.
We hope to see him back on the field in the near future.