Bears part ways with Johnny Knox

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The Chicago Bears terminated the contract of wide receiver Johnny Knox today, ensuring he will not make a comeback with them after a gruesome injury in 2011.

Knox required spinal fusion surgery after a nasty collision in a Dec. 18, 2011, game vs. the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. His upper body was bent back in an ugly collision with Seahawks defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove. Knox underwent surgery and spent last season on the physically unable to perform list. He was not able to get anywhere near ready for physical action. Knox is a longshot to play again elsewhere.

Knox was a proven deep threat from 2009 to 2011, averaging 16.6 yards per carry, the seventh-best figure in the NFL. He caught 133 passes for 2,214 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also made the Pro Bowl as a returner.

“Johnny should be very proud of his accomplishments and what he's done for the city of Chicago and for the Chicago Bears,” Bears general manager Phil Emery told the team’s Web site. “He did a lot for our fans and a lot for our team. I'm disappointed for him that he won't be able to move forward with the team.

“Johnny will always be a Bear and he will always be welcome here in our practice facility and all of our team events and at games.”

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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