Emergency quarterback Caleb Hanie was forced to enter the NFC Championship Game for the Chicago Bears after starter Jay Cutler left with a knee injury and Todd Collins stunk. Cutler played poorly in the first half, hobbled off the field with a bum knee, but started the third quarter. After leading a three-and-out his first drive of the quarter, he did not return. People immediately began questioning his toughness and determination for leaving the game.
Players infrequently have the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl berth, and here was Cutler giving it up. No details were immediately available about the extent of Cutler’s knee injury, but it didn’t matter to his critics, many of whom were current or former players.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew wrote on his twitter “Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now… When the going gets tough……..QUIT..” That was after seconding a tweet suggesting Cutler was suffering from a bruised ego more than anything else. He followed up his initial tweet saying “All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one…”
Former Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks added to MJD’s tone. He tweeted “HEY there is no medicine for a guy with no guts and heart” and that was on top of saying “the knee injury has to be VERY VERY INJURED, if you come out, Philip RIvers p[layed on torn acl ,now its pick,SERIUOSLY JAY CUTLER.” You can overlook all the typos and poor grammar to get the point: everyone is questioning Jay Cutler’s toughness after he pulled himself out of the NFC Championship Game.
Eagles CB Asante Samuel wrote “‘If he was my teammate I would be looking at him sideways. … I luv my QB @mikevick he has the heart of a lion. I guess others are scared of success.” Jags linebacker Kirk Morrison was similarly perplexed, saying “If my knee was hurt or acl/mcl/pcl sprain, I would not be standing up on the sideline.”
No matter how poorly he was playing and how much he was bothered by his knee injury, there is no excuse for taking yourself out of such an important game for anything less than a debilitating injury. Cutler will have a lot of explaining to do after permanently ruining his reputation amongst the media, critics, teammates, and peers. Maybe DeAngelo Hall was right about him. And honestly, the only excuse he could possibly have at this point would be a concussion. If the Bears want to protect their franchise quarterback, that’s what they need to say happened.Google+