Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Johnny Knox will begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list due to a back injury sustained in December 2011 after colliding with Seahawks defensive lineman, Anthony Hargrove. Knox is still recovering from a spinal fusion surgery to stabilize a vertebra and is optimistic about returning to the field this season or the next. Although Knox will be sidelined the first six weeks, there will be a three-week period to determine if he will play in the season as long as he is proven to be healthy. To compensate for this gap on the receiving end, the Bears added veteran receiver Eric Weems in the event that Knox is not healthy enough and may possibly missing the entire season. Bears will miss Knox’s speed, but has compensated by adding two receivers Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffrey.
The Bears will also do without rookie safety Brandon Hardin due to a neck injury sustained in the second preseason game that landed him on the Injured Reserve list for the rest of the year. Other than 2004, the bears have drafted a safety consecutively each year in the last decade. They will turn to practice squad player Anthony Walters as the fourth safety and have the option of keeping a fifth safety with Mark Legree who signed last week to a one year deal. Since this team has had a history of injury ridden safetys, only time will tell if the Bears’ safety will stay healthy enough to complete a full season or whether the yearly fiasco will continue into the new season.