Johnny Knox

December 20, 2011 by staff 

Johnny KnoxJohnny Knox, If the Chicago Bears are going to reach the National Football League playoffs, they will have to do it without receiver Johnny Knox, who was lost to season-ending back surgery on Monday.

Bears coach Lovie Smith said Monday that Knox would not play again this season after being carted off the field early in Sunday’s 38-14 home loss to Seattle and having surgery to stabilize a vertebra in his lower back.

The Bears said Knox’s injury is not considered career threatening and his chances for a normal life are strong.

Knox had the ball knocked from his grasp after making a catch Sunday and as he moved to retrieve the ball he was struck by Seattle’s Anthony Hargrove and bent backward.

He was on the field for almost 10 minutes before being taken off on a backboard to a hospital.

The Bears suffered their fourth loss in a row and fell to 7-7, two games behind Detroit and Atlanta for the final National Conference playoff berths with two games remaining in the season.

Next for the Bears is a Christmas night matchup at Green Bay against the Packers, who suffered their first loss of the season last Sunday at Kansas City.

Meanwhile, New York Jets running back/kick returner Joe McKnight has a separated right shoulder and his status for Saturday’s game against the Giants was uncertain.

Coach Rex Ryan confirmed the injury Monday on his weekly radio appearance on 1050 ESPN Radio, adding that “we’ll see” if McKnight can play.

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