LAKE FOREST, IL - JUNE 12: Injured palyer Johnny Knox #13 of the Chicago Bears joins teammates for a minicamp practice at Halas Hall on June 12, 2012 in Lake Forest. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The last time Johnny Knox played, he left Soldier Field on a stretcher after an ugly back injury. Seven months later, he is still working towards his goal of returning to football. On Wednesday, the Bears announced they will put Knox on the active physically unable to perform list.
It means Knox will still get paid, can still attend Bears meetings and can be put on the roster again this season if he is healthy enough to play. General manager Phil Emery said Knox is making steady progress back to the field.
"He's able to do all the lifting, he's doing quite a bit of rehab, he's doing some light running," Emery said on Tuesday. "He is able to get off the assisted treadmill so he is doing those activities. He is making steady progress towards being back on the team."
On Wednesday, the Bears checked Knox -- and all of his teammates -- with a fitness test. Knox said he is taking his time rehabbing the back injury that required doctors to fuse together vertebrae after a hit bent him in two. He is running, lifting weights and meeting small goals.
"They're not rushing me, and I'm not rushing myself," Knox said.
It's a tough situation for Knox. Even if he gets back to his former self, he will return to a team with a vastly upgraded receiving corps. All he can do is continue to work towards getting back to the field and proving what he can do.