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.