Jay Cutler Suffers Torn MCL In NFC Championship Game

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Jay Cutler Received Painkiller Shot During Halftime Of NFC Title Game

Because we cannot possibly let Jay Cutler’s NFC Title Game Saga go until after the team that defeated his has played in the Super Bowl, news broke today that Cutler received a painkiller shot during halftime of the NFC Championship in an attempt to play in the second half.

According to the Sun-Times, the Bears were ready to sit Cutler. However the QB wanted to give it a go and received the shot.

He returned to the field a few minutes after the rest of his teammates, and he led the offense on the opening series of the second half. But on a handoff to Forte, Cutler’s knee buckled, and he left the game for good after that three-and-out series.

Does that change your perception on Jay Cutler? Or had you already forgotten about this a week ago?

On Monday, it was revealed that Cutler suffered a Grade II MCL tear, which could keep him sidelined for three to six weeks. Roughly the amount of time left that we’ll still be hearing news about this.

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Jay Cutler Was Still Into The Game After Knee Injury, Bears' Caleb Hanie Says

At this point, it may be easier to come up with a list of teammates who haven't defended Jay Cutler after he suffered an MCL injury in the Chicago Bears loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. From Brian Urlacherto Chris Harris to head coach Lovie Smith, the Bears are in full-on damage control after a lot of folks bashed Cutler for coming out of the game.

The latest? QB Caleb Hanie who, after Todd Collins got hurt replacing Cutler, came into the game. Hanie talked with Dan Patrick and said Cutler was into the game -- even if his sideline demeanor suggested he wasn't.

"He talked to me a lot coming off the field," Hanie said during his appearance. "Trying to calm me down. Telling me to trust my line. Trust my reads. I thought he was well into the game. He told me what blitzes they were bringing. What coverages they were running."

Clearly, questioning Cutler's toughness is a way to get the Bears attention. They had all hands on deck once the media, fans and former and current players started to question his toughness. Hanie is the latest in that long line of players who didn't think the reaction was fair.

For at least a moment, one of the most overplayed stories in the NFL this year is starting to die down.

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Jay Cutler Injury A Grade II MCL Tear Requiring 3-4 Weeks Of Rest, According To Report

After Jay Cutler’s MCL injury was described by Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith as a “MCL sprain,” some took the usage of sprain rather than tear as further evidence of Cutler’s quittiness. After all, we’ve all played sports or kept exercising through sprains, right?

But an MCL sprain is the same thing as a complete or incomplete MCL tear. And the Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen reports on Twitter that Cutler has a Grade II MCL tear, the second-most severe grade such an injury can merit.

While it’s still not a complete tear, the injury has highly impaired Cutler’s stability and mobility. He likely had no ability to rely on his knee after the injury struck, and thus couldn’t have done much more than take snaps from a shotgun set and hand off to Matt Forte if he’d stayed in.

Cutler will be off his feet for most of the next month, if this report is accurate.

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Lovie Smith Confirms Jay Cutler Injury Is Torn MCL At Press Conference

The injury suffered by Jay Cutler in the NFC Championship Game is indeed an MCL tear, as confirmed by Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith at his press conference on Monday. Smith used the language “MCL sprain,” which is the same thing as an MCL tear. What matters is the severity, which remains unclear at this point.

Smith also took time to defend Cutler’s toughness:

“For most of you it seems like the storyline has been about whether our quarterback is a tough guy,” Smith said. “Our quarterback is a tough guy. He wanted to win the game as much as anyone. It’s pretty simple what happened yesterday. Before the half Jay hurt his knee, showed a lot of toughness to continue to play with it. Right before the half, when we threw the pick, the medical staff — we all — made the decision that he couldn’t go."

Smith said he was surprised by the criticism from fellow football players that popped up on Twitter during the game, and made it clear that the coaches and medical staff pulled Cutler from the game.

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Jay Cutler's Injury Has Bears Teammates Defending Him

During Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler suffered a knee injury which caused him to miss almost the entire second half. The reaction to Cutler sitting has been intense to say the last. Former players took to Twitter to criticize Cutler who is also hearing questions about his toughness from media and fans.

Now we know what the knee injury was that kept Cutler out -- a reported MCL tear. The Bears decision to sit him makes a little more sense now. 

Like LB Brian Urlacher, Bears S Chris Harris backed the decision to keep Cutler out and said there was no need to question his toughness.

"The guy plays through diabetes every day," Harris said, "if that's not tough then I don't know what is."

Harris said Bears players were "absolutely" confident in Cutler and said those criticizing him need to "chill out". After news of Cutler's torn MCL has come out, much of the criticism has quieted down.

Check out Windy City Gridiron to see what Bears fans are saying.

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Jay Cutler Injury Is Torn MCL In Knee, Severity Unknown, According To Report

After a fair bit of speculation, it's now officially a "report": Jay Cutler has a torn MCL, according to one Chicago writer.

That writer is the Chicago Sun-Times' Bears beat reporter, Sean Jensen, who tweets that he's been informed Cutler's got an MCL tear, but how bad it is is still unknown.

I'm told Cutler has an MCL tear, and they are determining grade.

If true, that goes a long way to explaining why Cutler's knee injury knocked him out of Sunday's NFC Championship Game loss to the Packers. Cutler was in obvious discomfort when he took the field in the second half after being hurt in the second quarter, and an MCL tear would make planting and throwing the ball somewhat difficult.

Will this stem the tide of backlash against Cutler from fans who have burned his jersey and called him various variations on "soft"? Who knows?

But if Cutler having a documented, definite injury doesn't turn back some of the vitriol, his reputation may be sealed for the time being.

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Jay Cutler Injury: Brian Urlacher Defends Bears QB, Calls Other Players Jealous

Jay Culter offered a "no comment" when asked about other players questioning his toughness following the Chicago Bears' NFC Championship loss, but linebacker Brian Urlacher did the talking for him. Informed that players sitting at home were trashing Cutler on Twitter and questioning the injury that sidelined him, Urlacher fired back, calling them jealous while standing up for his quarterback. Cutler suffered an apparent knee injury during Sunday's game and was forced to sit on the sidelines for the remainder of the game at the training staff's behest.

Urlacher didn't take to the criticism kindly, calling out the other players sitting at home with their seasons already over.

"Who cares what they think?" he said. "That's my response to them. They are not playing in this game. Jay was hurt, obviously. There's no reason for him to be out there if he can't get it done. He was obviously hurt pretty bad or he would have played."

"For them to question his toughness is stupid to me."

Urlacher is right. Almost immediately after Cutler left the game, Twitter exploded, with any and everyone questioning his toughness and heart. Without knowing the full extent of his injury, players and analysts alike began to speculate wildly, quick to throw Cutler under the bus.

The injured quarterback will have an MRI on his knee on Monday, but the early word is he tore the MCL on his plant foot. If you ask some, however, he should've been in there as long as his leg was still attached to his body, no matter what kind of damage it could've done to both him and his team.

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Jay Cutler Injury Could Be Torn MCL, Will Have MRI Monday

Jay Cutler's injury in the NFC Championship Game could be worse than initially expected.

NBC Sports' Evan Silva tweets that the Bears believe Cutler's injury could be a torn MCL, and they'll be running further tests on him on Monday.

Jay Cutler will have an MRI on his knee tomorrow. It's believed that he tore his MCL, but Bears will know for sure after tests.

Of course, even that injury isn't enough for some people to back off the criticism of Cutler. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio fires off this pithy whine:

As to the "torn MCL" excuse for Cutler, Philip Rivers finished a game and played another with a torn ACL.

Florio's referring to the postseason Rivers had in 2007, when he tore his ACL in a win over the Colts and played rather terribly against the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Rivers threw two interceptions and couldn't get the Chargers a touchdown in the latter game, and they lost, 21-12. But, hey, he's tough.

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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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