Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is drawing harsh criticism from the media and fans alike after leaving Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Packers with an undisclosed knee injury in the third quarter.
Despite a valiant effort from third string quarterback Caleb Hanie, who went 13 of 20 for 153 yards and one touchdown, his two interceptions in the fourth quarter sealed the Bears loss and sent the Packers to their first Super Bowl appearance in thirteen years.
No one knows when exactly Cutler hurt his knee but it’s believed it happened sometime in the first quarter of play, or so that’s what Chicago is claiming.
No information was given during the game as to why Cutler could not return but several sources are reporting that he actually tore his MCL and did undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
A few hours later it was confirmed by Bears head coach Lovie Smith that Cutler’s injury was indeed an MCL sprain and scoffed at the media’s bad mouthing of his beloved franchise quarterback.
While his treatment by the fans and media may have gone overboard the fact remains that Cutler set on the sidelines and watched perhaps the most important game for the Bears sice their Super Bowl loss to he Colts in 2006 unfold without his participation.
He has now been labled as scared, a quitter, hearltess and then there is the opinion of Saints full back Heath Evans.
This morning on ESPN’s radio show “First Take”, where Evans was a featured guest, he was questioned about Cutler’s toughness after the initial rumors broke that he had suffered a torn MCL, and what he had to say was pretty interesting.
Sorry Drew, I love you, but Drew Brees played six weeks with a torn MCL,I know what Drew Brees did with a torn MCL.’
If you recall Brees was injured in week three’s overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons, afterwards practicing and appearing in games wearing a knee brace.
The Saints and Brees himself denied that there was any real problem with his knee and maintained the brace was strictly a precautionary measure only.
Just as things started to die down a radio personality from WIST-690 am reported Brees had actually suffered a fractured left knee and torn meniscus that would require surgery.
Brees responded, now famously, by performing jumping jacks and knee lifts during an open locker room session with the media to prove that no damage had been done.
It appears we may never know what the actual truth is but certainly Heath Evans has no reason to lie about the injury, what would be the point?
Now that the truth about Brees “injury” has been disclosed it certainly casts a negative light on Cutler. The question will be asked if Brees was able to play during the regular season then why couldn’t Cutler get back in during the NFC Championship game?
Some big name players have also spoken up about Cutler’s decision not to play. San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers said for him to leave a game he would “have to be carried out in a stretcher” and Jaguar running back Maurice Jones Drew questioned why he didn’t go back citing that he “played a full season with a bad knee”.
Evans meanwhile is not gaining too many fans this off-season. It was only about a week ago that he blasted Brian Daboll and the Dolphins for their hiring of him as there new offensive coordinator stating “The Dolphins probably just got worse.”
Maybe Evans should take a break from all the gossip just for a bit.