Bears’ Knox suffers back injury, to have surgery

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Johnny Knox hit the ground after a big hit and didn’t get back up.

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Johnny Knox hit the ground after a big hit and didn’t get back up.

In a scary scene at Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears wide receiver suffered a serious back injury in the opening minutes of Sunday’s 38-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was scheduled to have surgery Monday to stabilize a vertebra in his lower- to mid-back after needing to be carted from the field.

"He has total movement throughout his body, has total use of all his extremities, which is good," coach Lovie Smith said. "We’re doing tests right now. He has total movement. He’s not paralyzed or anything."

That was a big relief to everyone on both sidelines and in the stands, and the Bears said the injury is not career-threatening.

Knox had just caught a pass from Caleb Hanie about four minutes into Sunday’s game when Kam Chancellor poked the ball out of his hands. As Knox made a diving attempt to retrieve the ball, he was hit by Anthony Hargrove and got bent backward. He stayed down for close to 10 minutes while being tended to by medical personnel.

Knox was eventually placed on a stretcher and taken from the field on a cart, putting his hands over his face and wiggling his fingers as he left the field.

Also injured in the game were Bears safety Chris Conte (foot) and Seahawks wide receiver Mike Williams (broken ankle).

Green Bay rookie offensive lineman Derek Sherrod broke his right leg when Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali rolled into him in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 19-14 victory which ended the Packers’ run at an undefeated season. He took over in the first half when starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga went down with a knee injury.

Buffalo wide receiver Stevie Johnson aggravated a groin injury, and tight end Lee Smith hurt his left ankle in a 30-23 loss to Miami. Coach Chan Gailey already ruled out Smith from playing on Dec. 24, while Johnson’s status was uncertain.

New England defensive end Andre Carter was carted off the field with a left knee injury at the end of the first quarter of a 41-23 win over Denver. He was hurt attempting to tackle Broncos running back Lance Ball. Carter immediately grabbed his left knee after the play at the Patriots 13.

Earlier, Broncos running back Willis McGahee hobbled to the sideline with an injured left leg.

Cincinnati rookie wide receiver A.J. Green sprained his right shoulder, but bounced back and returned to catch six passes for 115 yards in the Bengals’ 20-13 win over St. Louis.

New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard left the 23-10 loss to Washington with a right knee injury. Wide receiver Devin Thomas hurt his neck, was lifted on a stretcher and carted off, but the team announced that he was up and walking around in the locker room.

Cleveland lost three players — linebackers Titus Brown (knee) and Ben Jacobs (concussion), and wide receiver Jordan Norwood (concussion) — in the Browns’ 20-17 overtime defeat.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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