One day after news broke that Florida International University football player Luke Knox had died at the age of 22, the Panthers began the road to recovery from the heartbreaking news.
The Panthers returned to practice Friday, still searching for answers after the linebacker died Wednesday night after being found unresponsive in his dorm room on campus.
"I had some coaches call me who've been through this before," said FIU head coach Mike MacIntyre, who coached Knox at Ole Miss before the player transferred to FIU. "This morning, they said it's good to get back into some exercise and a little bit of normalcy."
FIU players were told of Knox's death late Wednesday. Thursday's practice was canceled, and grief counselors were brought in to meet with the team and others from the university community.
Police do not suspect foul play in the incident. Details on how Knox died were not released.
"There's no perfect formula, but you love the kids. You're with them, you listen to what they've got to say," MacIntyre said. "Everybody grieves differently and you don't know when it's going to hit you."
A native of Brentwood, Tennessee, Knox played three years for the Rebels and switched between linebacker and tight end. He played in seven games last season and recorded 21 tackles in his career. He switched to tight end in 2021 though appeared as a linebacker on FIU's roster this season.
He is the brother of Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox, who is entering his fourth NFL season.
“Tragic news that I woke up to this morning," said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. "We love him and we support him and just unfortunate news this morning.”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said, as part of a lengthy tweet, “He was a tremendous teammate and an even better person who lifted up everyone around him.”