Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Are there any recent updates as to how Johnny Knox is doing?
Fort Worth, Texas
I just saw receiver Johnny Knox here at Halas Hall and he's continuing to get better. I know he appreciates the concern and well wishes he's received from Bears fans. Knox took to Twitter last Thursday to discuss his recovery from the nasty season-ending back injury he sustained Dec. 18 against the Seahawks. He told his followers that his back is healing “good” following surgery, he’s doing “a little” light gym workouts and he has to wear a brace that he only takes off to shower until mid-March. Knox also said that his vertebrae was fused during surgery, the injury resulted in the worst pain he’s ever felt, he hasn’t watched a replay of the play and he remembers the incident “like it was yesterday.”
I see Kahlil Bell as Matt Forte’s back up next season assuming Forte stays with the Bears. Do you agree or disagree?
First of all, I would be extremely surprised if Matt Forte doesn't remain with the Bears. It's a virtual certainty that he'll either sign a long-term contract extension or receive a franchise tag for the 2012 season. (Team president and CEO Ted Phillips recently said that the Bears have no plans to let Forte hit the open market.) In terms of Kahlil Bell, I thought he proved late in the season that he can be a more-than-capable backup running back, though he did have some problems with fumbles that need to be addressed. With Phil Emery taking over as general manager, the Bears have to determine whether backup running Marion Barber remains in their plans. If he does not, I could see Bell—who’s due to become a restricted free agent himself—competing for the No. 2 position behind Forte.
Let’s say that the Bears are able to sign Reggie Wayne in free agency. Do you think they would still go after a receiver in the first round of the draft?
Bowling Green, Kentucky
I think it all depends on which players are still on the board when the Bears pick at No. 19. If there’s a talented receiver there with a good solid grade, I think the Bears would seriously consider selecting that player regardless of whether they had already signed Reggie Wayne or another veteran at the position. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears landed a receiver in both free agency and the draft. I think everyone agrees that it's clearly one of their most pressing needs.
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