Jay Cutler Sustains Knee Injury, Leaves Bears Loss In NFC Championship Game

Jay Cutler had a bad day, sustaining what was reported as a knee injury and apparently bleeding from the elbow as well. He was removed from the Bears' 21-14 loss in the NFC Championship Game and replaced by Todd Collins.

Here's the explanation Cutler gave to reported in the locker room for being removed from the game:

We gave it a go that first series but couldn't really plant it and throw so, you know, they kinda pulled me. To be in the situation we were and to have this happen, it's tough.

I felt confident in it (knee), didn't know how it would hold up and ... just disappointed I wasn't able to give it a shot. I was gonna keep playing. They made the decision to give Todd a shot, that it would better suit the team.

There are a couple of obvious interpretations here. Cutler could have been benched for injury reasons, as a quarterback without a working knee tends to be a fairly ineffective quarterback. But it's also possible, especially with the "it would better suit the team" phrasing, that Cutler was benched both for being hurt and being ineffective.

Furthermore, inserting Caleb Hanie before the fourth quarter and making Cutler and Todd Collins ineligible to return certainly seems to confirm that there was no way Cutler could have given the Bears a better chance than Hanie in the coaches' eyes. If that has nothing to do with injury, it's a fairly damning decision.

When asked about players calling him out on Twitter, Cutler had no comment.

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