School of hard Knox

He called Marshall a "big-time, elite receiver," and said, "I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing with him."

Or with anybody.

Knox said the pain from that terrible hit, and the subsequent surgery, is gone now. At least the physical pain is.

Despite the temptation to lose faith, Knox has tried to maintain a healthy outlook.

"From day one my mindset has been real positive," he said. "No letdowns. No setbacks. I'm surrounded by a great group of people, a great organization, friends, family. They keep me positive and I'm staying positive and moving forward."

I learned long ago never to doubt the strength of the human spirit. I believe Knox is strong in places that don't bulge and ripple.

But I also learned long ago that it is reasonable to doubt the strength of the human body. Knox is weak in places that he can't be as a player.

It's going to be awhile, but some day, Johnny Knox will run, jump and catch again. He will take a big hit, and he will pop up, shake it off, smile and trot back to the huddle.

It's going to happen.

Right?

"I will play again," Knox said. "Definitely."

He has to because there are so many of us pulling for him.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei
CHICAGO

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