Instead of continuing rehab toward a potential return, the former Chicago Bears wide receiver has chosen to put his playing career behind him. The injury Knox suffered in late 2011 continued to linger well into the 2012 season, and he has decided to give up his fight against NFL health in favor of a more stable future.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reported Knox's decision on Wednesday afternoon, just one day after the Bears chose to terminate his contract (via ESPN Chicago).
Knox took one of the worst hits we've ever seen during his last NFL appearance, as Seattle Seahawks defender Anthony Hargrove hit Knox full speed as he laid out to recover his own fumble. As the two men collided, Knox's head bent back well past its normal range of motion.
He suffered a fractured vertebra on the play, and had surgery the day following the injury. The original timetable was six months, but Knox was nowhere near being ready to play when Chicago's training camp kicked off. He didn't make any further strides during the regular season either.
Despite not being able to play, the Bears kept Knox on the roster and paid him a full salary in 2012, showing good faith in his ability to return one day. However, the latest diagnosis made it clear that returning to football might not be the best option, and the Bears decided on Tuesday to jump-start his path to retirement.
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