One of the more disappointing stories in the NFL has finally come to a close this week, as former Chicago Bears wide receiver and returner Johnny Knox decided to hang up his cleats and retire from the game. At only 26, the Bears and Knox both hoped for a long career that would provide big plays and excitement. However, Knox’s career was cut short in 2011 after he suffered a devastating back injury against Seattle. In that game, he fractured a vertebra and was forced to have surgery and rehab.
While ultimately he hoped to return, Knox soon realized that all the therapy in the world would not get him to his original form in enough time to rejoin the NFL and keep his career alive. Knox walks away from the game way too early, and now the Bears are left looking for another wide receiver and playmaker to fill the void he leaves. Knox also suffered nerve damage, and decided that now would be as good a time as any to call it quits, with enough time and physical strength left to determine for himself what the next chapter holds in store. The Bears and fans are disappointed, but ultimately it’s refreshing to see a player that decides his safety comes first, and that is an important lesson from this story.