Johnny Knox remains convinced he will play football again but admits it might not happen this season.

The Chicago Bears wide receiver is on the physically unable to perform list and could theoretically be cleared to return to practice as soon as Oct. 15 but that seems unlikely at this point. Knox, who had spinal fusion surgery last December after a vicious hit in a home loss to the Seattle Seahawks, has yet to run full speed.

I haven't let that animal out of the cage yet," he said. "We are getting there. I'm nervous in a way that I want things back to normal. I'm still working on some things, and we're going to wait and see when that day comes."

Knox said he is “moving a little better” but considering the amount of time he has missed, it is unlikely the Bears would look to get him back in the mix this season. The club is carrying six wide receivers on the 53-man roster.

“In camp, I wasn't exactly where I wanted to be, but it's like night and day," he said. "I've gotten better. Still working."

With the Bears 3-1, Knox says the positive vibes in the locker room have made things easy for him and motivated him even more.

"From the day of the surgery, the doctor told me that I would be able to play again," Knox said. "That's still in my mind that I will play."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune