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Johnny Otis Knox II (born November 3, 1986) is a former American football wide receiver who played three seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Abilene Christian University. He was selected by the Chicago Bears as the 140th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Knox's career abruptly ended after sustaining a severe spinal injury in 2011. He retired from playing football in 2013. Knox was also a coaching intern for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015.

Johnny Knox
refer to caption
Johnny Knox during the 2009 season.
No. 13
Position:Wide receiver
Return specialist
Personal information
Born: (1986-11-03) November 3, 1986 (age 33)
Houston, Texas
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Channelview (TX)[1]
College:Abilene Christian
NFL Draft:2009 / Round: 5 / Pick: 140
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:2,214
Return yards:1,515
Total touchdowns:13
Player stats at

Early lifeEdit

After graduating in 2005 from Channelview High School in Channelview, Texas, Knox enrolled at Tyler Junior College. As a sophomore at Tyler, he led all junior college receivers with 884 yards and 12 touchdowns. rated him as the No. 9 junior college receiver in the class of 2007, and he transferred to Abilene Christian University to play for the Abilene Christian Wildcats football team. He went into his first season at Abilene Christian listed as a backup wide receiver, but he quickly moved into a starting role. He finished the season with 62 receptions for 1,158 yards and a school-record 17 touchdowns. He finished third in Division II in 2007 in touchdown receptions, while racking up the fourth-most receiving yards in a season in Abilene Christian history.

While garnering more attention from defenses in 2008, Knox still racked up 56 receptions for 1,069 yards and 13 touchdowns. Knox helped Abilene Christian start 11–0 before losing in the third round of the Division II playoffs. His 30 touchdown receptions in two seasons were the most in Abilene Christian history, and he earned second team All-America honors in 2008. After the 2008 season, Knox was invited to participate in the 2009 Texas vs The Nation all-star game, where he had three receptions for 55 yards and caught a touchdown pass from David Johnson in a losing effort for the Texas team.[2]

Professional careerEdit

2009 NFL CombineEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
185 lb
(84 kg)
4.34 s 1.47 s 2.53 s 4.15 s 6.81 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
All values from NFL Combine

Chicago BearsEdit

Knox joined the Chicago Bears after being chosen in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He caught his first NFL pass, a 68-yard reception, on September 13, 2009 against the Green Bay Packers. During the second game of the 2009 season (against the Pittsburgh Steelers), Knox recorded his first NFL touchdown catch on a key third down to tie the game up 14–14. He recorded another touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks, a seven-yard reception. In the fourth game of the season, against the Detroit Lions, he scored a touchdown on a 102-yard kickoff return.[3] Two weeks later, after a bye week, Knox caught a 60-yard touchdown from Jay Cutler. On November 29, 2009, Knox returned a kickoff 77 yards to set up a Bears field goal versus the Vikings.[4]

Knox sustained a season-ending ankle injury against the Vikings. He finished the 2009 season with 45 receptions for 527 yards and five touchdowns. Knox ranked second in the NFL for return yard average with 29.0.[3] On January 25, 2010, Knox was selected to the NFC roster for the 2010 Pro Bowl, replacing Minnesota's Percy Harvin, who withdrew due to injury concerns.[5] Knox returned four kicks for 103 yards in his Pro Bowl debut. He was also targeted on two passes as a wide receiver, but failed to log a reception.[6]

In 2010, Knox led the Bears in receiving yards (960), and tied for first in the team for receptions (51) and receiving touchdowns (5). In 2011, he led the Bears in receiving yards (727) and ranked second in the NFL in yards per reception (19.6).[3]

On December 18, 2011, Knox sustained a serious spinal cord injury during a game against the Seattle Seahawks.[7] He collided with Anthony Hargrove head-on while attempting to recover a fumble.[7] Knox required immediate surgery to stabilize an injured vertebra, but maintained sensation in all limbs following the incident.[7] Hargrove later personally apologized to Knox for his role in the injury.[8] The Bears placed Knox on injured reserve the following day.[9]

Knox started the 2012 NFL season on Chicago's 'physically unable-to-perform' (PUP) list.[9] He was unable to fully recover from the injury even after extensive rehabilitation and therapy.[10] After the injury, Knox walks with a limp and is unable to stand without discomfort.[11] The Bears released Knox on February 12, 2013.[12] He announced his retirement on February 13.[13]

Post-playing careerEdit

On July 31, 2015, Knox was hired by former Bears head coach Lovie Smith as a coaching intern with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[14] He is assisting a north suburban high school, Carmel Catholic High School, as their wide receiver coach for the 2018 season.

Personal lifeEdit

Knox and his wife have four children.[15]


  1. ^ "Notable Alumni". Houston Class Mates. 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Nation Edges Texas 27-24 In Third Annual Texas vs. the Nation Game | Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Army". Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Knox stays positive on road to recovery". July 25, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  4. ^ "Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings - November 29th, 2009". November 29, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "Bears' Knox added to Pro Bowl roster". ESPN Chicago. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  6. ^ "Bears' Knox not half bad in his Pro Bowl debut". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c "Johnny Knox to undergo back surgery". ESPN. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  8. ^ McClure, Vaughn (December 1, 2012). "Hargrove remorseful regarding hit on Knox". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  9. ^ a b McClure, Vaughn and Brad Biggs (December 19, 2011). "Conte placed on IR; Bears add to roster". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Wright, Michael (February 3, 2015). "Johnny Knox: 'I'm pressing forward'". ESPN. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (February 13, 2013). "Johnny Knox won't play football again: 'I'm moving on'". Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Mayer, Larry (February 12, 2013). "Bears terminate contract of Johnny Knox". Chicago Bears. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Ex-Bears wide receiver Knox decides to retire". Yahoo! Sports. February 13, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  14. ^ "Bucs Hire Camp Fellowship Coaches, Scout". Tampa Bay Buccaneers. July 31, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Mayer, Larry (December 22, 2012). "Johnny Knox continuing to battle back from injury". Chicago Bears. Retrieved December 22, 2012.

External linksEdit