Johnny Knox to Undergo Back Surgery

Johnny Knox to Undergo Back Surgery
Johnny Knox gives the crowd at Soldier Field a thumbs-up as he's carted off the turf on Sunday. (Chicago Tribune)

It was scary as hell. Early into the first quarter of play at Soldier Field on Sunday (the 11:14 mark), Bears’ WR Johnny Knox caught a deep middle pass from Caleb Hanie for a 17 yard gain.

But a hit from Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor caused Knox to fumble the football. As Knox attempted to recover, Seahawks DE Anthony Hargrove drilled Johnny just below the chin and pushed his body backwards, nearly folding the WR back on top of himself.

It was the type of hit that made you cringe … made you a little sick to your stomach. It was the kind of hit that you actually didn’t want to see again.

Sidenote: Jonny Knox weighs in at 185 lbs. according to the team website. Anthony Hargrove is a stout 272.

The hit, at least from my perspective, looked legal, as it appeared Hargrove led with his shoulder. He’s certainly not to blame.

The Seahawks recovered, and Johnny Knox did not get up.

Ten minutes later and Knox was strapped to a stabilization board and was being carted off the field; he slowly moved is hands and fingers as he was driven to a waiting ambulance and taken to the hospital.

The injury had players on both sides of the field sending up prayers that Johnny would be OK. It was a time I think many football fans would agree that God is certainly welcome on the field.

The report came from the team later that evening that Knox’s injury was not believed to be threatening to his quality of life or his football career. Certainly, the football aspect is secondary.

“He has total movement throughout his body, has total use of his extremities, which is good,” head coach Lovie Smith said. “We’re doing tests right now. He’s not paralyzed …”

Knox was, however, scheduled to undergo surgery Monday to stabilize vertebra in his lower-mid back. It not known right now whether that surgery has already taken place.

The best news is that, neurologically, Knox is fine.

Depending on the type of fracture or displacement of the vertebra, surgeons are likely to place rods or screws to help keep everything in place. Should everything go as planned, there’s no reason to believe Knox can’t rehab his way back to the football field in 2012.

Many were initially upset after the hit, as Hargrove rose up and began to celebrate. Later, however, when he realized the nature of the impact, Hargrove was seen, head down on the sideline. He was clearly upset.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more on Knox’s procedure today.

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