A day after saying he still wanted to play in the NFL despite the Bears terminating his contract, Johnny Knox has decided to retire. Knox told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times that he has to face the reality that he still has trouble walking —and isn’t even close to being able to run with the speed of an NFL wide receiver —more than 13 months after suffering a devastating back injury. As a result, Knox said, he is trying to make peace with the fact that he will never play football again. “As an athlete, you don’t want to give up, you want to keep on fighting. That’s how I’ve always been,” Knox said. “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’s body bent backward in gruesome fashion when he was injured in a December 2011 game against the Seahawks, and as sad as he is not to be able to fully recover, he also realizes how much worse it could have been. “I was centimeters away from being paralyzed, so just sitting here and talking, I’m appreciative of that,” Knox said. “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.” Knox said he has been down at times, but he’ll remain an upbeat person. “My whole life, I’ve always been positive, and people ask me, ‘Man, why are you so positive?’ But I know things will work out for the best,” Knox said. We wish Knox well as he leaves professional football at the age of 26.
I ruptured by back in January... There was never a question in my mind that he was never going to play again, that play where he got injured makes me sick. He had game and I think he could have been something special... He had a great season a few yeas back before injuries got to him.