As the debate continues regarding the Jay Cutler MCL tear/sprain/whatever, word has emerged that another fairly high-profile quarterback of whom you may have heard played with a torn/sprained/whatevered MCL during the season.
Saints fullback Heath Evans, who filled in Monday as the Skip Bayless foil on ESPN2′s First Take, got the ball rolling by explaining that Saints quarterback Drew Brees played for six weeks with a torn MCL.
“Sorry Drew, I love you, but Drew Brees played six weeks with a torn MCL,’’ Evans said, per Brian Allee-Walsh of NewOrleans.com. “I know what Drew Brees did with a torn MCL.’’
In early October, Ed Werder of ESPN reported that Brees indeed had a “minor” MCL sprain.
“It wasn’t a mystery that his knee was bothering him and he was wearing a brace for a few weeks,” Saints tackle Jon Stinchcomb told NewOrleans.Com. “Drew was able to play through it. He’s a tough guy. In no way am I saying that he’s tough and Jay Cutler is not. I don’t want to make that comparison. I’ve never played with Jay nor am I condemning the fact that he left the game yesterday.
“But we were aware about Drew’s knee. But it’s not our position to speak on another player’s injury.”
And so we’ll ask Drew about it in a PFT Live interview that airs (or whatever these things do when they’re played over the Internet) tomorrow.
Heck, even coach Sean Payton joined the chorus, telling reporters at the Senior Bowl that Brees indeed suffered a “low-grade MCL sprain.”
It’s a far cry from what Payton said during the season. “There’s no situation,” Payton insisted only three days after Brees injured the knee against the Falcons in Week Three. “His knee is sore from the game. There’s no specific injury other than that he has soreness. We didn’t put him on the report. He took all the reps. There’s not an injury to report. I was pleased with how he functioned. He functioned fine. It’s something that as the week goes on, I think he’ll have no problem with and he did a real good job in all the team stuff today.”
On the injury report, Brees’ name appeared three times — Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven — with a knee injury. He did not appear on the injury report in Week Four, the first game after the non-situation injury happened.
All MCL sprains aren’t alike, however. Brees’ low-grade sprain and Jay Cutler’s reportedly Grade II sprain are very different injuries. So the real news is that Brees had a knee injury about which the team wasn’t necessarily as open as it could or should have been, given that Evans says Brees played with the injury for six weeks.
And given that Payton initially denied that an injury happened. And given that the Saints left him off the injury report for one full week after he suffered the injury, and given that Brees ultimately appeared on the injury report only three times for his supposed six-week injury.