Optimistic Knox wont rush his return to action
Back surgery, 2˝ months in a cast and baby steps at the start of a long rehabilitation have left wide receiver Johnny Knox looking like a sliver of his former self.
But he's doing his best to stay positive.
Last off-season the 6-foot Knox bulked up to a ripped 185 pounds.
But he lost at least 30 pounds in the months after December's injury, and he's gained back only about 10 pounds.
He doesn't appear to be anywhere close to playing football, and he might not be back this season at all.
"It could happen," he admits, "but I'm staying optimistic. My main focus is in that weight room. I'm not in a rush. This is my spine, the core of my body that I'm dealing wit, so I'm taking my time on this."
Knox has purposely not watched replays of the collision that bent him backwards and could have left him paralyzed were he not in elite physical condition.
Knox is no longer in pain, but he can't do much more than jog or lift light weights.
"Since Day One my mindset has been real positive, no letdowns, no setbacks," he said. "I'm surrounded by a great group of people, a great organization — friends, family, they're keeping me positive, and I'm staying positive moving forward.
"I want to get back out there at the beginning of the season, but who knows? We'll see how it turns out."
As usual, Devin Hester makes an impression almost any time he's on the practice field.
"Devin Hester is probably having the best camp of all the receivers," Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Wednesday after just the second of 10 scheduled OTA practices.
"We've got a lot of weapons. I think management is going to have a tough job figuring out what four, five or six guys we want to keep (at wide receiver)."
Contrary to others, Cutler doesn't believe Hester will be more effective with less playing time.
"I don't think less plays is the answer for him," Cutler said.
"I think we're just going to put Devin in position to be successful every time he's out there. He's getting more and more comfortable with me, and I think this offense suits his abilities a lot better."
Waiting to judge:
Jay Cutler has voiced his concerns about an offensive line that has allowed 105 sacks in the past two seasons, the most in the NFL.
Nothing that transpires during the three weeks of OTAs or the minicamp that follows will allay those concerns.
"Right now it's hard to tell," Cutler said.
"We don't have any contact out here. We can't really get a good look at those guys, and I don't think it would be fair to any of those guys competing to say where they're at until we get into camp and we get the pads on and see what we've got."
Chris Williams took the first snap with the first team at left tackle Wednesday.
But last year's starter, J'Marcus Webb, also worked with the ones.
Defensive tackle Nate Collins was signed to a one-year contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-2, 296-pounder played in a total of 13 games the past two seasons with the Jaguars after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Giants in 2010 out of Virginia. He has 10 career tackles.
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