That hit and the injury it caused is easily one of the most gruesome events I have ever witnessed live.
Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox suffered a broken back in that collision. He was placed in a back brace for two and half months, resulting in him losing 30 pounds. It would be a miracle for him to make it back onto the field for the 2012 season. At this point, it is fair to wonder if he’ll ever play again.
Close friend and teammate Devin Hester became emotional while speaking about Knox’s ordeal.
“It’s hard because I see Johnny every day, even on the weekend,” Hester said. “It hurts me because we’re real close. I do get real emotional because he’s like a little brother to me. I know he gets tired of the rehab because it’s the same thing every day,” Hester said. “You can tell he gets frustrated here and there because it seems like it’s not working. But at the same time, it’s going to be a miracle to get him back normal. I’m going to stick with him, encourage him and make sure that he doesn’t give up.”
“Days when I don’t feel like doing anything, I kind of just sit back and look at Johnny,” Hester said. “And I’m out here complaining about practice when here’s a guy right now who wishes he could practice, let alone play in a game? I see what Johnny’s going through and I say to myself, ‘That could have been me.”
“Devin has been there for me on and off the field throughout my career,” Knox said. “He’s someone I’ve always looked up to since the first day I got here. He is someone I truly trust as a friend. Devin has done a great job of keeping me positive,” Knox said. “He has been more worried about my health than if or when I am going to return to the field. That means a lot to me — that he is more concerned about my health than when I am going to play again.”
My thoughts and prayers are with Johnny as he continues to rehab from this devastating injury.