Final Cutler injury update: Grade II MCL sprain

First things first: An MCL sprain is essentially the same thing as an MCL tear, so Lovie Smith’s explanation of Jay Cutler’s injury was consistent with previous report.

Our final Cutler injury update of the day comes from Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.  He reports Cutler has a grade II MCL sprain/tear, which is usually a 3-4 week injury.  It sounds like it won’t require surgery.

For some point of comparison, we heard ESPN’s Ross Tucker said on Rome is Burning Monday in his experience as a player that he could play through a grade I sprain, and he couldn’t even stand if he had a grade II or grade III sprain.

Florio thinks the Bears’ P.R. staff bears a lot of blame for the whole situation:

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69 responses to “Final Cutler injury update: Grade II MCL sprain

  1. The tears dribbling down his pasty unshaven face into the fatty rolls of flesh under his chin were classed as Grade XIIV.

  2. Jay Cutler is one of the toughest QB’s in the NFL and it’s pathetic he had to go through all of this. Anyone who saw him get blasted time and time again the first 7 games of the season without complaint knows what he is made of.

    These talking heads and twitter idiots and former players all need to go soak their heads. What a bunch of fools not waiting to even hear what the diagnosis was.

    Blithering idiots — all of them.

    Feel better soon, Jay.

  3. This just in…Soldier Field grounds keepers have found a pair of pink panties in the end zone with the
    word ‘Sunday’ embroidered on the front, and the initials JC on the tag…

  4. I love all the big mouths that beat up Jay. Just because the guy doesn’t carry on. Did you guys want him to go out and possibly end his career? What if he took a shot trying to play? Im a Eagles fan so Im just telling it like it is. Being familiar with that type of injury…..Sitting him down was the right thing to do. He’s not a tough guy? He missed one game up till then!

  5. hobartbaker says:
    Jan 24, 2011 4:49 PM
    The tears dribbling down his pasty unshaven face into the fatty rolls of flesh under his chin were classed as Grade XIIV.


    That might have worked if you would have used a real Roman numeral.

  6. Dude tore his MCL. Only thing he is guilty of is poor PR. He should have put his helmet on, tried to go on the field only to have training staff hold him back, hide his helmet, etc. Wouldn’t have changed the reality one bit, but would have been a completely different perception.

  7. i dont get what all the fuss is about. people are upset that he left the game? If i was a Bears fan, I’d be GLAD this LOSER wasnt in the game. Just look how the offense IMPROVED once Cutler was taken out of the game.

  8. Who cares how tough Cutler is? You Bears fans should be more worried about the performance he put up when he wasn’t injured. You gave up a bunch of high draft picks and a ton of money for a guy who looked scared to death in a big spot. He was worse than the scout team quarterback! How’s that future looking for you today?

  9. Couldn’t even stand on a grade II or III. This report says he had a grade II, but it looks like he was standing to me…

  10. Honestly Sports Fans, ask yourself … Would you rather see Aaron Rodgers play against the Steelers or a Wounded Jay Cutler/Collins/Hanie against the Steelers?

  11. help me says: Jan 24, 2011 5:00 PM

    So he could have played?
    Yes, because if he had a severe strain, he wouldn’t have been able to stand, much less ride a bike.

    Dude could have played but chose not too, end of story.

  12. I’ve had a grade II mcl sprain, and I could stand on it, but I couldn’t do much else. Even if they put a brace on him, he would have been a sitting duck behind their line. So I think he’s tough enough, physically. But he’s not a leader, anywhere. At least some of the fans in Chicago will never forgive him unless he wins the SB.

  13. Cutler has missed one start in his career and that was this season due to a concussion despite being pummeled behind a pourous O-line with a group of WR’s that are at best 3’s on most winning teams. The meatheads out there saying things like “tape it up” just goes to show how the NFL is a violent, gladiator-like sport that attracts way too many simple-minded, lowest common denominator neanderthals. Forums such as this are a cesspool for those that likely are missing a chromozome or two. I actually liked PFT a bit better when it was a smaller, more intimate collection of football pseudo intellectuals and not a beacon for the stupid.

  14. have people tried running around on a torn meniscus. A grade II sprain may not sould like much but try avoiding the rush of clay matthews with no lateral movement. I imagine that would be pretty difficult.

  15. As a Packer fan, I dont think for a minute the guy quit. He’s kind of like Lovie in that Bears fans just dislike what they see on the sidelines. Is he Joe Montana? No. But he’s not Ryan Leaf either. Saying he didnt want to finish that game against the Packers in ludicrous.

  16. As a Packer fan, I dont think for a minute the guy quit. He’s kind of like Lovie in that, Bears fans just dislike what they see on the sidelines. Is he Joe Montana? No. But he’s not Ryan Leaf either. Saying he didnt want to finish that game against the Packers in ludicrous.

  17. I think the vast majority of criticism (fair or not) of Cutler has to do with his sour attitude. People perceived him as sulking on the sidelines instead of helping out the team and backup qb’s.

  18. Not a bear or cutler fan but the O line of the bears sucks
    come on folks the Giants got to Cutler 10 times before he was out of the game
    This guy has been the nfl punching bag behind that line
    He has taken more hits then a crack whore

  19. My shoe is a better leader than Cutler.

    Nothing sums up his season better than watching him sulk on the sidelines staring off into the distance as his third string QB looks at defensive schemes and tries to figure it out. I guess your eyes and brain stop working after your frickin’ knee gets injured.

    If he really was hurt, grade II tear or not, a true leader would’ve been working the sidelines like his life depended on it. He would be coaching up Hanie as to what he saw out there. Instead, we saw Cutler sulking…sitting by himself.

    Cutler is dead to me

  20. The guy should have grabbed a set of crutches….even if he didnt need them. That way it would have appeared that he was being tough just to be standing on the sideline supporting his teamates. Even if he wasnt doing it for the cameras it woulda been better for him as far as the locker room is concerned. I mean come on dude….atleast fake a limp

  21. I preface this by saying I hate Jay Cutler, but……

    Quarterbacks far better than him have had lousy games when it mattered most. Seems a week ago a certain long-haired fellow up in New England sh** the bed and looked absolutely skittish as a result of the pass rush he was facing, so I don’t think Cutler can be labeled a choke artist or a bust after one lousy playoff game. All the people blasting him are the same ones who said he would never lead the Bears to playoffs in the first place, so they can’t have their cake and eat it too.

    In terms of his injury, he was held out of the game. What’s he supposed to do? He comes across as a whiney punk which is part of the reason he’s getting virtually zero benefit of the doubt………..and there is some pleasure to be derived when jerks fail (see Rex Ryan), but he’s an NFL quarterback in the championship game. No one is going to convince me that he wasn’t really hurt. Cutler has proven to be a gamer and has taken quite a pounding while in Chicago.

    He’s a creep, but I absolutely do not believe he’s a quitter.

  22. Exactly Pack Attack, as a Bear’s fan it pains me to agree with you, but then again, relations between our two fan bases are much more cordial than it used to be.

    How anyone could question Cutler’s toughness after grinding out a season behind that line is beyond me. All they clowns calling him a crybaby is funny too. I live in Chicago, and he doesn’t complain, even when he probably has every right to complain.

    The guy doesn’t want the spotlight, isn’t going to smile into the camera and make nice with the writers because he doesn’t want to, simple as that.

    Funny too some of the clowns on here calling him out, and guys like Sanders (the physical DB that he was), MJD, who quit on his team during the two most important games of the season, and some of the other winners with access to a mic or Twitter.

    While I do have a problem with some of his Favre like throws, I don’t have a problem with the guy’s heart. He doesn’t get into trouble, takes a beating and keeps trying, and he gets abused by every idiot who thought he needed stitches for a paper cut.

  23. He was probably sulking because they wouldn’t let him back in. The guy had an ear piece in helping out Hanie…per Hanie’s own words. Every guy stuck up for him, and yet the idiots of the Internet know more.

  24. The leader stuff is a joke too. If you’re an NFL player, do you really need someone to pat you on the back and tell you how special you are, and to keep trying? Save the rah rah stuff for hs. In the end he’ll be judged by how many SBs he wins, if any. Just because a guy pumps his fist, doesn’t make him a leader. If your QB yells at the WR in public, he’s a good guy in most fan’s eyes, but one the field, I’m sure the guy who just ran the wrong router, or dropped the sure catch, knows he dropped it, and appreciates a guy who will back him up in the huddle.

  25. Seems Chicago fans forgot what their QB situation was like before Cutler came along. Go ahead, give me a nice list of the guys who were better – all one or two of them.

  26. Ross Tucker … you’re an idiot. You can stand on a Grade II MCL tear especially if you are tough SOB. Also helps when the temperature is below freezing and you aren’t being asked to cut, plant and throw accurately.

    Did it ever occur to any of you nay sayers that he was still standing up and moving around so that if the coaches asked him of it he would go ahead and play? You can’t override a doctor/trainer/coach decision in this day and age. Period. Even if you are the great ‘my toe hurts and tackle like a 5 year old girl’ Deion Sanders or the ‘I played on a minor knee injury all season with pain killers because I am a drama queen MJD’. MJD – ever think that the reason they let you play is they couldn’t care less what happened to you with your minor injury?

    As for the moron(s) above who think that Hanie is a better QB than Cutler get over it. Hanie looked good because the Packer defense backed off to burn the clock and wait for him to make mistakes (which he did). If the Bears were going to come from behind to win they needed Cutler healthy. Period. End of story.

    Hey Bears! People are still knocking your QB. What are you doing to do about it?! I know I’d be seeing a big red target on their jersey in Hawaii and all next year. 😀

  27. Stupid stupid stupid, all these comments. The camera showed him how many times and for how long? He didn’t smile for 4 seconds so Jay don’t care. He has a dirty look on his face for 4 seconds so he don’t care. He’s sitting next to Hanie for 4 seconds and they aren’t talking so he must not have helped his 3rd string QB. You guys are basing stuff on 3-5 seconds of a clip. Just like all you wanna be doctors tried to base stuff last night saying he wasn’t hurt. Give me a break. If Cutler sits on the bench for 3 minutes talking and helping Hanie but the camera only shows 4 seconds of him not looking at him then of course that means Cutler don’t care. Just crazy. And Deion Sanders should shut up. This coming from a guy who missed more games to “turf toe” then anyone in the history of the league…and a guy scared to tackle anyone.

  28. It’s crazy to question this kids toughness for so many different reasons. He takes so many more hits than most QBs in the league. He gets up and continues to play. It’s ridiculous to call him a quitter he has had some horrible games in his career 4 and 5 INT games and never quit. Why would he choose the 2nd half of the NFC title game to say I quit? We all know now he was hurt. Mentally no other player takes as much criticism as Jay does, even on huge games they overlook them on a INT or a possible INT. He had 4 TDs last game against the Hawks and some analysts Talked more about the almost INT on the goalline. Even On Madden they say bad things about him. Most peoples confidence would be shattered and he still plays. Lastly, he has diabetes, he could have gave up awhile ago, when he was diagnosed. People should be inspired with what he goes thru day in day out, to prepare to live to play a physical game. To me mentally and physically he is the toughest player in the NFL. And about him crying….excuse me for him being human and getting emotional. People criticize him for not being emotional and now criticize him for being emotional. Lay off the kid.

  29. I keep reading these threads and still can’t believe how many Cutler supporters there are!

    Like “Prime Time” said… I never question a man’s injury, but I’ll question his heart.

    If he had a grade II MCL tear, how in the hell could he stand on it, yet alone ride an “F”ing bike.

    Also loved the shot of Cutler starring off into space in his own little world, with Haine sitting next to him with his nose in the playbook trying to figure out how the hell he’s suppossed to lead the team when he probably hasn’t had a practice rep in who knows how long.

    If that was Manning, Brady, or Brees on the sideline hurt, they would have been over there helping Haine with the playbook and letting him know what they saw when they were on the field with the Packers.


    McDaniels is still a douche for trading away all the talent from Denver, but maybe this is what he saw in Cutler…

    No Heart…

    No passion for the game…

    Name me one of the NFL’s great QB’s that would have done what Cutler did?

    Not fought to go back in to try and play in a CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!

    Not trying to help coach your backup QB’s to help them discect the defense that shut you out.

    Keep apologizing for this crybaby though…

    We wouldn’t want him to tear up again would we?

  30. “he couldn’t even stand if he had a grade II or grade III sprain.”

    This makes him tough. He stood on the sidelines the whole time. Get off his sack

  31. Agreed that trashing the guy was premature, but lets not put him on the martyr throne just yet either. He was walking around/standing pretty good, not to mention he played several plays with an injury Ross Tucker said he couldn’t even stand on (you think maybe the severity is being exaggerated a tad by the Bears?), not to mention the fact that his noggin wasn’t sprained so bad that he couldn’t at least try to help out the 3rd string QB.

  32. Okay, let’s assume he really was too hurt to play – why did he spend the entire second half just sitting around like he had nothing better to do?

    How about you grab a headset, start working with the guys who are going in the game to replace you, look at pictures with the young QB between possessions?

    That’s the thing I have a real problem with.

  33. I’ve had a Grade II MCL sprain. He wouldn’t have been standing on the sideline, or anywhere for that matter. And he certainly wouldn’t have been able to come out and play a series. They’d have that knee iced and elevated. The team is covering for the guy.

  34. Everyone keeps talking about how tough Cutler is physically; but his MENTAL weakness that’s the problem! He found out that there was talk of a trade in Denver and he whined and moaned like a wuss.

  35. Blaming the Bears PR Staff? How about a sensationalist media that ignores facts anytime they can generate a little controversy and page hits? Or fans who just jump the gun and assume the worst about a player/person knowing full well they don’t have all the facts. Even before they played people knew Cutler only missed ONE pro game his career and had played with diabetes his entire career. The media and fans then criticize him for being aloof and that’s why he ‘deserves’ this unfair treatment, and then he tears up at hearing other pros are criticizing him and the media and fans criticize him for NOT being aloof. Starting NFL QB is a glamour job if ever there was one, only 32 open positions and thousands upon thousands trying to be one. You don’t get to be one of the best 32 without having heart and guts. You just don’t.

    Is it the job of the Bears PR staff to make the media and fans think and act with at least half a brain?

  36. Here’s the deal with this: It doesn’t make much sense for him to act like he’s injured to get off the field because of poor play so I tend to agree with the fact that he probably wasn’t 100%. However, he is a professional quarterbak in the NFL. If I’m a Bears fan, I’m pissed off about seeing him on the bench next to Hanie and Hanie appears to be asking him questions and Cutler just blows him off. A true pro/team player would be sitting with him looking at the playbook and giving advise. IMO Cutler is a big flapping Douche bag who could give a s*** about his team.

  37. Cutler hurt his knee with 4 minutes left in the 2nd Quarter…continued to play … then started the 2nd Half and played one series, and WAS TOLD to sit down.

    And just because you didn’t see it MichiganWar, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen….he helped Hanie more than you realize.

  38. Thanks to Mike for the video explanation of MCL tears compared to ACL tears. Never took a swipe at Culter because I was waiting for a diagnosis. But did express disbelief at Gradkowski’s tweet saying he’d played on two torn MCLs. From what Mike said, that is possible–my apologies to Bruce.

    Agree completely w/Mike’s comments re PR, but it’s difficult for a team to devise a PR plan during a championship game. Philly had time to think about how best to handle Vick while Kolb was on the field. Sometimes athletes must be wise enough to consider themselves how their sideline behavior will play with fans–which Culter has never done.

    From the conflicting info Gregg mentions re Rome Is Burning, it sounds as though there’s still confusion about the gravity of Cutler’s injury that may only be resolved if team doctors address the media/fans and explain the problem and what they ordered. It’s a shame for Chicago fans that their season ended on such a controversial note.

  39. Its not like he was helping them get back into the game when he was in there any way.

  40. grade 2 sprains are not the end of the world. with a grade 3 sprain(tear), he would be in a knee immobilizer. Grade 2’s are really up to the player if he can continue or not. Rivers and the torn ACL is a much bigger issue. Its not about pain either, its about stability. Cutler couldnt go and it all adds up to him being a wuss in the title game. If this was week 2, this would be understandable. It wasnt and its not. This all = cutler being soft and anyone who called him out is now justified with the diagnosis.

  41. The bears can say whatever they want but I believe that was the most exaggerated MRI in the history of America…there is no way the bears could have come out today and say it wasn’t anything that required at least a month to heal…. cutler is way to sensitive and they sold the farm to get him so they had to protect him with some doctors lying today…send me hate mail about being a conspiracy theorist but the dude didnt want anymore he tapped out like sanders said on NFL network… he walked off the field pouting sat down an assistant coach came over and told him they needed an answer the dude got an an exercise bike and then decided he wasnt going to improve on his 80 some yard passing performance…and the bears had to help cutler out from the verbal assault he is justly receiving.

  42. Any ‘sprain’ is a tear. The only differenc eis the amount of the tear. Grade 3 is a complete tear, grade 2 is almost a complete tear, grade 3 is a minor tear. I don’t think a QB could play with a grade 2 tear. The joint would be too unstable.

  43. Who really cares if he was willing to come back in or not? He’s just not that good of a QB. He’s possibly a little better than average when completely healthy, which means one of the backups would likely give the team a better chance to win the game if he’s hurt enough that his performance suffers.

  44. To those who said that Cutler wasn’t helping Hanie, you should look at the replay after Hanie threw the INT to Raji. No, Hanie was looking at the pictures with Cutler looking on while Hanie looked at Cutler every now and then. They were conversing about the play (not knowing what they were saying) so it may be a good chance that Cutler was giving Hanie some advice. To those who are saying that Cutler wouldn’t been able to ride the stationary bike with his injury, well, Aikman and Buck was talking about how riding the bike was one of the tests to test the knee. To those who are still questioning Cutler’s “toughness” read the comments from his teammates about how he came out at the start of the third quarter, has gotten up time after time from being sacked, playing with Type 1 diabetes, never complains (when he has every right) and plays.

  45. I’ve had the same injury before, and I can tell you from my experience, it is very, very painful. Hard for me personally to question Cutler’s toughness trying play through something like that.

  46. If he had come back in the Packers would have KNOWN that he was really hurt and they would have targeted him and made it worse.

    Those of you who say you have had an MCL injury and question his toughness – are you sure?

    And in all the posts I looked at before I had to go puke – there is no mention of the fact that he has to take diabetes medicine every day.

    How brave you all are from the anonymity of cyberspace

  47. I love people adding “Deion Sanders said” Deion was the biggest puzzy the NFL ever had. This is the same guy that sat out with turf toe. And “heart” Deion didn’t care about heart unless it was an extra incentive in his contract. Dude only played for the money and the fame.

  48. I love how the story keeps being updated changing the language used to describe the injury.

    Anyway, according to this site:

    here’s how the “grades” pan out:

    Grade I sprain: Ligament stretch, pain along ligament
    Grade II sprain: Partial tear, mildly decreased stability
    Grade III sprain: Complete tear, significantly abnormal stability

    Mildly decreased stability? The more I read the more I think there’s something fishy going on here.

  49. Yeah, um anyone ask Caleb Hanie what he thought of Cutler not helping him on the sidelines?

    Oh right, someone did, and he said Cutler offered help whenever Hanie wanted and game him space when he didn’t.

  50. “If he had come back in the Packers would have KNOWN that he was really hurt and they would have targeted him and made it worse.”

    You mean the defense would have targeted the quarterback???!!

  51. Regardless of the injury, Jay Cutler seemed overwhelmed by magnitude of the game. He looked completely ‘out of it’ mentally.

  52. A guy who leads the league in getting sacked, yet still leads his team to the #2 seed in the NFC isn’t tough?

    That doesn’t include getting knocked down AFTER the ball has been released. But he got up and kept playing.

    Yet he’s not tough?

    People need to just admit they don’t like or respect Cutler, no matter what he does.

    Anyway, it’s time to move on. It’s over. Let it go.

  53. Maybe the guy was hurting , maybe not. However in a game of this proportion, where everything is on the line, perception is just as important as being able to play. To me he seemed pretty jovial on the sidelines and not like he was hurting.

  54. OK, I had a Grade III ACL tear during a football game. That’s a full tear, not a partial tear. There is a difference, mind you. Technically a Grade I is a tear as well…
    I was playing quarterback. It was a regular season game. I completed playing by throwing off one leg. Isn’t that what Cutler does anyway?

  55. Its amazing how football’s evolution has gone from trying to out score the other team to trying to cripple the opponent…

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