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Johnny Knox to start Chicago Bears season on PUP list

Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox and rookie safety Brandon Hardin will have to wait to hit the field after the team placed the wideout on the physically unable to perform list and the third-round draft pick on injured reserve.

"It was to be expected," Knox told Sean Jenson of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I knew I wouldn't be able to come back for training camp or preseason, so I'm just still taking it day by day."

Knox appeared in 14 games for the Bears last season. He caught 37 passes for 727 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a back injury in Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks, which required surgery to stabilize a vertebra.

If healthy, Knox could return after Week 6.

"I do believe I'll be back on the field," Knox said. "It could be this season, next season, who knows? But I'm going to keep striving to get better and get back on the field."

Hardin suffered a neck injury in the third quarter of the Bears' 33-31 victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 2 of the preseason. The safety was injured while trying to tackle Logan Paulsen on a pass from Kirk Cousins.

Hardin was carted off the field after spending about 10 minutes on the ground surrounded by medical personnel. The rookie gave the thumbs-up sign as he was taken away.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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