By Brandon Salamat, NJFFL Contributor
It’s the NFC Championship game; you’re playing on your home field against a long time rival with the winner getting a shot at the Lombardi Trophy. Aaron “The Monster of the Midway” Rodgers, although, wasn’t at his best still played better than the 1st, 2nd and 3rd string QB of the Chicago Bears as the Packers sat on a 14-0 lead entering the 4th quarter. Cutler wasn’t having a good game by any means, got booed at home and sat the entire 2nd half due to “injury” the Packers defense got to Cutler early and often and Bears had no answer for that. Todd “what is he still doing in the league” Collins did nothing and left the game; and I’ll give credit to Caleb Hanie for providing points for the Bears offense that seemed to be out of it for most of the game.
But, praising Hanie is rather here nor there as this is about; what Bears fan say BEAR DOWN and yes a BEAR was DOWN literally; your franchise QB Jay Cutler. For a brief moment he just wasn’t in the game, camera shots here and there on Cutler showed him just sitting on the bench with his coat on; no trainer’s checking up on him for an injury. Then word came out Cutler had a knee injury; but yet he was standing on the sidelines at times; didn’t have crutches in hand to help support or show us some sort of injury; if at all it occurred and like MJD tweeted “it’s the Urban Meyer effect, when the going gets tough….quit” yeah you can call that a cheap shot but he wasn’t the only NFL player tweeting about Cutler. Derrick Brooks stated, “There’s no medicine for no guts and no heart” if you ask me that was the harshest lash to Cutler, some may say he deserved it some will defend Cutler; its America we’re allowed opinions.
Mark Schelereth tweeted that “players criticism of Cutler has nothing to do with how bad he was hurt, but perceived lack of effort or attempt to play hurt.” Then he followed that up with “EVERY guy in that game was playing hurt, you don’t make it to this part of the season without injuries, and players feel you need to suck it up.”
Chicago Head Coach Lovie Smith said “if you need to get mad at someone, get mad at me; because I was the one who kept Cutler from going back in.” Now whether or not you want to believe that, that’s up to you because of course teammates are going to back up Cutler.
Now where do I stand with all this; well I’m a little on both sides because I can’t judge an NFL players toughness without myself putting pads on; because I don’t sustain the hits these QB’s take game after game. Another is, Cutler plays with diabetes; that in itself is a battle in life. Monday we later found out Cutler had a grade II MCL sprain that is a 3-4 week healing process; so you ask yourself could he still have played? I cannot answer that; but I would think we would’ve liked to see some sort of effort. Then another part of me says Cutler deserves most of the lashing because of his rep and his past actions. The one thing I’ll say is for the most part I thought what NFL players stated were wrong; but some were just instinct feelings as they sit at home watching the game like the rest of us; because nothing was said about an injury and Cutler just disappeared from the game. At the end of the day though, Cutler only has to answer to his team, the Chicago Bears, and guess what; they have his back.