Bears wide receiver/kick returner Johnny Knox, who continues to slowly recover from December spinal fusion surgery, is scheduled to start the regular season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, according to multiple sources familiar with Knox's progress.
It has long been speculated Knox wouldn't be ready for the start of the season considering the severity of his injury. He was forced to wear a back brace after the surgery and continues to walk with a limp now. But there was more structural damage than initially anticipated, according to one source.
Knox could not be reached for comment.
There is a strong chance Knox won't play in 2012, but placing him on the PUP list would leave open a return to the field if Knox's recovery is accelerated. He would have to sit out the first six weeks of the regular season once designated to the PUP list.
There is a significant drop off after Brandon Marshall in the Bears' receiving corps, and it doesn't look like Knox will be able to contribute much at all in 2012.