Jay Cutler Sprained MCL In Knee

UPDATED: 1/24/2011, 3:10 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler sprained a knee ligament in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, Bears Coach Lovie Smith confirmed Monday.  

Sean Jensen, of the Chicago Sun-Times, first reported on his Twitter account that Cutler tore the medial collateral ligament (MCL) on his left knee. Jensen later confirmed that Cutler suffered a Grade II sprain of his MCL, an injury that typically takes 3-4 weeks to heal.

Smith said that Cutler suffered a sprain to his MCL. A sprain usually means that the ligament was torn slightly, but not severely. He said that if the Bears made the Super Bowl, Cutler’s status would have been questionable.

Smith also took aim at critics who questioned Cutler’s toughness or ability to play in the game. Smith said it was the decision of the coaches and training staff to pull the quarterback from the biggest game of his career so far.

“If you’re going to attack somebody, you should be attacking me as the head football coach,” Smith said. “He wanted to go back in.”

Depending on the severity of the tear, it takes up to six weeks for a MCL injury to heal–often less. The initial treatment focuses on reducing the pain and inflammation in the knee.

Typically, the injury is treated with ice, anti-inflammatory medication and stabilizing the joint with a brace. In most cases, surgery is not needed and prospects for a complete recovery are excellent.

During the second half of the game, the Internet and Twitter were abuzz with current and former NFL players having knee-jerk reactions to Cutler’s injury. Linebacker Brian Urlacher and Coach Lovie Smith quickly came to Cutler’s defense.

“Jay was hurt. I don’t question his toughness, he’s tough as hell,” Urlacher said. “He’s one of the toughest players on our football team. He doesn’t complain when he gets hit. He goes out there and plays every Sunday, he practices every single day, so no we don’t question his toughness.”

There were more than a few comments on Twitter when it became clear Cutler would not be back.

“If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room!” Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett tweeted.

“Folks i never question a players injury but i do question a players heart,” wrote Deion Sanders, former cornerback and current NFL analyst.

According to locker room reports, Cutler became emotional, with tears welling up in his eyes, when he was told of the criticism.

Bears coach Lovie Smith grew testy after being asked about Cutler’s injury.

“He hurt his knee and he was out, all right?” Smith said. “There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened, he couldn’t go and that was that.”

Added Urlacher: “Nothing like jealous people at home watching. Players around the league you said, right? Yeah, I love jealous people when they are watching our game on TV while their season is over.”

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • AWW

    Sure he did. Do you really expect the Bears to announce anything less at this point?

    • jm

      Your a moron AWW

    • JIM


  • Guy at Work

    Jay Cutler has no personality.

    • Scott Bolon

      Your right about that. He is NOT a team motivator, with his antics when things go wrong. He needs to grow some and learn to be a motivator like Urlacher is for the Defense.

    • tyler

      they dont pay him to have a personality!!!! they pay him to QB the Chicago Bears!!!!

      • Donald Wilson

        All I can say is good Rex, bad Rex

  • Pack.fan.insight

    It took guts for Cutler to take himself out of the game.. He knew he’d take heat for it. But the reality is: he wasnt 100, 90, or even 50%. The Bears had a better chance to win with Caleb.

    • Denver Deadite

      Such “insight”…

      Considering that Cutler didn’t take himself out of the game, but the trainers and doctors did.

      • Leroy

        Cutler has been “out of the game” ever since the season started. He is worthless to the team.

  • Sports Iliterate

    Why is this different from using a relief pitcher in baseball when the starting pitcher is sucking?

    • Scott Bolon

      It’s not really but he was not the sucking one, it was the offensive line and the offensive coordinator giving him Kyle Orton plays to execute.

      • ronjazz

        COME ON, guys.

        1) Being a relief pitcher is TOTALLY different from being a backup QB. Schemes, situations, personnel, etc.

        2) You’re the third-string QB. You don’t get any reps with the starters. You’re not EXPECTED to play with the whole playbook. Martz adapted to what he and Hanie had shared in pre-season. It was a limited package of plays, and the young man went far and beyond what was expected. Kyle Orton plays, indeed.

  • Deuster

    Jay Cutler hails from Santa Clause, IN.
    ’nuff said!

  • Doc Dess

    I don’t know much about J Cutler, but I find it hard to believe that he’d puss out of a game of this importance & a game that was really close.
    That aside, injury or not, his play was awful in the 1st half & wasn’t up to the challenge posed by the GB defense….end of story!

  • AWW

    Hey jm, it’s “you’re” genius. Learn the language before calling others a ‘moron’ you moron.

    • jm

      In any language…. AWW= Moron

  • JessDeCristo

    You know, Chicago fans can be pretty selfish and mean for no reason.
    1;- Most of the cry baby fans are putting the blame on Cutler, Nonsense !, The kid was put out of the game by Doctors, the bears would had lost anyway even if he had stayed in the game. Because everybody could see that the Packers meant business, they had good moves, as a matter of fact, they intercepted the ball from the ( ferocious ) bears most of the times they scored.
    2;- No other quarter back has been sacked more than Cutler, kinda pops up the question who was playing defense, the marx bros.? And each time he dusted himself up and got up, never complainted about the ones that were suppose to protect him from being sacked.
    3;- The bears have the best coach around rigth now, it’s gonna be a shame to see him go if the migthy Mc Caskey management decides this, just because some of it’s multimilionaire players didn’t get it through their heads, people expecvted a good game, every game, all the way.
    4;- Brian Urlacher, together with Cutler plus 2 or 3 other players are the exception.

  • http://www.city-data.com/forum/football/1183461-so-jay-cutler-really-hurt-2.html#post17554287 So Was Jay Cutler Really Hurt? - Football - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

    […] […]

  • hockeymom

    I wish everyone would quit blaming Cutler’s injury for the Bears loss. The team played terribly as a whole in every aspect of the game…offence, defense and special teams. They didn’t deserve to win that game as GB was the better team.
    If a guy is hurt and can’t play, he can’t play. Cutler wasn’t playing very well anyways and the Bears had a better chance with Caleb. Without him, I bet the bears would have lost 28-0.
    My question is….why didn’t they run the ball more? Obviously, their running game was a joke.

    • Asian Carp Killer

      Thank you for your comments. Jay Cutler is a class guy and the rest of the clowns shoudl learn to look in their own back yard…

  • Grizz

    I agree Jesse.
    When Cutler was sat down in the 3rd, I knew something wasn’t right w/ him. I was thinking that Lovie was gonna pull this game off w/ the qb change, but he waited just ONE series too long to do so. Had he put Haine in there @ the start of the 3rd qtr, the Bears just may have won that thing!

    It’s a game of inches & (apparantly) seconds.

  • I'm juss sayin'

    Torn MCL but pacing the sidelines after he was pulled? Riding the stationary bike? I don’t buy it.

    • Scott Bolon

      Ok stop whining Bears fans. This guy was sacked more times this year, then all 3 past seasons, and he still played great. Don’t blame him, for a bad offensive coordinator, and “serviceable” not good offense!

      • Donald Wilson

        Here’s my problem with people saying that he was sacked more times this year is that yes, he was tough enough for those sacks, but this is the NFC Championship people and this was the biggest game between these 2 teams since 1941 and all people ask for is to show us something than sitting on the bench or looking as if you feel sorry for yourself. So your fans that you are here to win and nothing is going to get you from becoming the leader and QB that brought me here to be! Im sorry, but he didnt show me any of that Sunday

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      I wish people would learn something about the ligaments of the knee before making comments like this.

      You ABSOLUTELY can walk on a torn up knee. Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s not unless you turn the wrong way.

      You ride the stationary bike to put a load on the knee while not supporting weight to keep it from freezing up and to attempt to show the training staff that you can or cant go. The pressure applied on the down stroke of pedaling is a great low load safe way to ‘stress test’ it.

      The MCL, in particular, is not there to support the main load of the knee, it’s there to aid the acl/pcl in holding the knee steady in a side to side motion. Walking on it is not an issue, even lightly jogging on it is possible. Stopping, planting, and juking a 340lb lineman could easily result in the total failure of the joint, and extreme damage to the other cruciate ligaments.

      • Tyler

        Well put! I just wish other people could be as intelligent with their comments as you are with yours.

    • cb

      You can do that with a torn mcl I have had one . you have no mobility rt or lf

  • Lownote

    I have had a torn MCL. You can walk, and it’s painful, When he was on the Bike, I told everyone in the room what the injury was. You CAN NOT take another hit once you tear the MCL.

    Anyone questioning his toughness is an idiot.

    • Bearski

      I agree

    • cb

      I totally agree Lownote. you have people on here who did even play a down of popwarner football . I played high school college and the CfL with the Hamilton Ti-cats. do those of you who haven’t strapped it on at the pro level need to shutup,

      • Pat

        You need to talk to the players that are tweeting; MJD, Darnell Dockett, Derrick Brooks, et al… They’ve ‘strapped it up’ & they are the ones questioning Cutler’s toughness. Your issue is with them.

  • Scott Bolon


  • Stefan Bennett

    OK that was funny Sportacus…

  • ?????

    I have been playing competitive mens softball for about 8 years now with a partially torn ACL. I had about 20% left after it happened. Yes, it hurts sometimes when I make certain “cuts” but I just take a couple of Advil before the game and that pretty much takes care of it. If Cutler’s MCL is torn 100% then it was fine he came out. If it were a partial tear, then he wussed out. The sideline doctors could determine partial or full tear pretty accurately with a few simple tests. The whole thing seems a little odd to me. Cutler standing on the sidelines. Manie sitting next to him and Cutler was not even paying attention to him. This whole thing just adds to my doubt about Cutler and maybe Denver already saw what we in Chicago are just now seeing. I hope I am wrong!

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      Are you really, seriously, comparing softball with the NFL? Are you really comparing making a ‘cut’ in softball to trying to evade a 300lb lineman? Really? If you took one of the 87 hits he ate this season, you’d be on the ground crying for your mommy. He’d pop back up and get ready for the next play.

      Simply amazing…

  • Stefan Bennett

    Jay’s physical toughness I wouldn’t question…the guy get’s pummeled regularly. and come’s back. Like alot of fans I question his mental toughness. He looked defeated from the 1st quarter through his mannerisms and mechanics… he moped… talked to himself and his body language was all wrong for a QB that was playing in the Championship..To me he looked like he quit mentally…. not physically. He’s a smart guy and I hope he matures from this experience. That being said I think the Bears exceeded expectations and they should be proud they got as far as they did.

    • Leroy

      You are absolutely right. The defense also came out looking defeated as well.

  • TOM


  • Donald Rozelle

    I can’t believe these critics and experts questioning Cutler’s toughness! The guy’s been sacked more times than any other Q/B in the league. Urlacher said it best, a lot of these people are jealous of him and it shows! As for you AW, you don’t have to have perfect grammar to know you’re a moron.

  • Don Merkle

    Bears played better than Pack , second half..if Jay had not been injured, a very good chance Bears would have tied Pack and possibly a over time game. Yes 1st half Packs , “O” and “D” were terrific. But to lay all over a good Bears team w/ 12-6 record. way above pre season expectations. GET a life disparagers. Lovie and 3 former NFL head coaches did a hell of a good job. Bringing them back in 6 of last games.

  • Ditka

    Bears had a terrible game plan and played scared. It’s like the Bears forgot they won the division and had the #2 seed. They played to not lose instead of to win. Very disappointing from a team that claimed all week they got no respect……….well Bears, you showed why,

  • John Hill

    Ok, who is the dope who compares his softball playing with quarterbacking an NFL team? Can you please put your name down here so we can fully embarrass you to take the sting out of yesterday’s loss? Let me know the next time you play softball and you get knocked on your ass 12 times during your game, by 6-4 290lb men. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Bearski

    Dan LeFevour should have been 3rd string behind Hanie!! Once again, great Quarterback evaluation for the Bears… Collins should have been waived in Sept not LeFevour.

  • Ditkastache

    My guess is that Collins picked up Martz’s offense fairly quick and he also gave the Bears a veteran backup. Backing Cutler with Hanie and LeFevour (essentially 2 rookies) would’ve been a risky proposition, and since Hanie didn’t move up to #2 after the Carolina game I have to wonder if he still has a lot to learn of the system.

    But that’s just my opinion. I don’t play competitive men’s softball so clearly I know nothing about the NFL, although I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before.

  • Jim Maraviglia

    Quit blaming Cutler and especially questioning his toughness…You have to be crazy to think he didn’t want to play…Yeah, he had a bad day but he didn’t cost the Bears the game… question the play selection, question the Cover Who, question the TE getting lost in the game plan, question kicking off, question Johnnie Knox not fighting for the ball, question Hester getting lost all day but don’t question Cutler!

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