Chicago Bears wideout Johnny Knox likely will start the 2012 season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, as he recovers slowly from spinal fusion surgery last year.
The Chicago Tribune, citing multiple sources familiar with Knox's progress, reported Sunday that Knox suffered more structural damage than initially anticipated. The newspaper said there is a strong chance that he won't play at all this season.
The veteran suffered a frightening injury against the Seattle Seahawks in December. He still wears a back brace and walks with a limp.
If Knox goes on the PUP list, he would have to sit out at least the first six weeks of the regular season.
Knox could not be reached by the newspaper for comment.
The Bears traded for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall earlier this month to shore up their depth at the position.