I waited to comment on the Jay Cutler situation until I had more information on the magnitude of the injury. In fact, since it’s literally impossible to know how severely an injury affects one player in comparison to another, I wasn’t planning on taking a side publicly.
But then I was asked to give my thoughts in a video for The Score’s Facebook page and I figured I should relay those thoughts to GLS readers. Both of you. So here goes it.
You can’t rip Cutler for the injury itself. It’s apparent that Lovie Smith, the rest of the coaching staff and the training staff weren’t letting him back into the game. I hope Cutler put up a fight, but I have a tough time criticizing his toughness. We are, after all, talking about a Type 1 diabetic who takes daily insulin shots and has taken more hits than Miley Cyrus’s bong. Playing behind a shaky offensive line, Cutler has missed one start due to injury in his five-year career.
If you want to criticize Cutler, do it because he was a pathetic 6-of-14 for 80 yards and an interception in the first half. The guy was supposed to resurrect a horrible offence, and in one of the most important games in Bears history, he was fell flat on his face. Franchise quarterbacks don’t play like that in crucial playoff games. The injury apparently would have made it extremely difficult for Cutler to plant and fire, but it seems like the king of fadeaways hasn’t planted his left foot since his senior year at Vanderbilt.
If you want to criticize Cutler, do it because he sat on the bench sulking like a 6-year-old girl throughout the second half. True veteran leaders don’t pout. The game was still within reach. Cutler should have had a headset on; he should have been giving advice and words of encouragement to backups Todd Collins and Caleb Hanie [Update: He apparently gave words of encouragement to Hanie, but that doesn't completely make up for the rest of it]. Instead, he appeared to remove himself from the game, sitting there with a “we’ve already lost” look painted on his face.
The injury isn’t the reason Cutler quit. The fact that the injury forced him to be removed from the game was the reason he quit.
Leave his left knee out of this. Instead, question Cutler’s ability and attitude.