The Bears have lost another key offensive player to injury.
At his press conference Monday, head coach Lovie Smith announced that WR Johnny Knox, who suffered a gruesome back injury in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks, underwent surgery to stabilitze his vertebra and will miss the rest of the season. The Bears expect him to recover and be ready to play next season, though, Smith said.
Knox sustained the injury trying to pick up his own fumble in the first quarter after making a 15-yard catch. Seahawks FS Earl Thomas recovered the loose ball and Seattle drove 22 yards for a touchdown after the offense following the turnover.
Knox, a third-year veteran, made 37 catches for a team-high 727 yards and two touchdowns this season. The Bears are expected to place him on injured reserve and will be looking to add a wide receiver. They are especially depleted at the position after waiving WR Sam Hurd, who is facing federal drug charges, last Friday.
Smith addressed other issues facing the Bears, who have lost four games in a row, on Monday. He would not rule out QB Jay Cutler or Matt Forté returning this season. Cutler has not played since Week 11 after breaking his thumb and undergoing surgery, and Forté is still recovering from the sprained MCL he suffered in Week 12.
Smith said Caleb Hanie is still the team's starting quarterback "right now," but said no decisions have been made as to who will start under center vs. the Packers in Week 16.