Bears release Knox after failing medical tests.
The Chicago Bears have terminated the contract of wide receiver Johnny Knox, report the Chicago Tribune.
Knox, 26, had struggled since a devastating injury suffered on December 18, 2011, when Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove up-ended him.
The injury required spinal fusion surgery, and Knox has been in intense rehabilitation since with an aim to merely return to the field, with his comeback consistently suffering from setbacks.
The news will come as a further blow for Knox with many speculating that the structural damage he suffered might make it difficult for him to return at all, ending his career at the age of just 26.
Knox was a fifth-round draft pick back in 2009, and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie kick returner. In 2010, he topped the Bears with 960 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with 51 receptions and five touchdown catches.
His impressive numbers continued into 2011 before he missed the final two games of the season following his injury, and his release will be tough for both his former team-mates and fans to accept.
Knox’s injury will come as a devastating reminder as to the dangers of the sport, but the Bears have vowed to support him in whatever he chooses to pursue next.