In the aftermath of the NFC Championship game Jay Cutler was being attacked from virtually all angles and for every possible reason. But as the details came out, it looked more and more like the Bears had made the poor decisions.
Cutler was criticized for being soft and not trying to play through pain and fight his way back on the field. But in reality that’s exactly what he did. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that during half time of the game Cutler received a pain killer shot for his knee and continued to play.
It was also revealed shortly after the game that Cutler had indeed fought his way back on to the field, against the advice of the medical staff.
“What happened in the playoff is really unfortunate,” former NFL player Jerome Bettis said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “It’s sad because here it is, he’s trying to do everything he can do to play, but unfortunately he kind of got hung out to dry by his team.”
LISTEN: Jerome Bettis On The Mully And Hanley Show
The Bears officially listed Cutler’s return as questionable, leaving plenty of room for speculation and opinions to fly about the quarterback.
“All they had to do was reach out to the sideline reporter, that’s asking for the information,” Bettis said. “All they had to do was release a statement saying he’s not going back in the game.”
The Bears defended their decision to leave Cutler listed as questionable by saying that they didn’t want to let the Green Bay Packers know the he wouldn’t return. But anyone near a TV could have figured that by the images shown by the FOX broadcast.
But instead of a statement, the media and the fans we’re left to their own imagination as to why Cutler wasn’t returning. And with no immediately identifiable play causing the injury, most of those opinions weren’t very positive.
“I think that was a travesty,” Bettis said, “and just poor public relations on the Bears’ part.”