Heath Evans, others say Drew Brees played with torn MCL

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.

24 responses to “Heath Evans, others say Drew Brees played with torn MCL

  1. Favre always hated playing with sprains. So he just left his knees in the locker room before the game.

  2. Why don’t you ay Brees’ REPORTEDLY low grade sprain to keep it fair. And even from you rreporting “you can not trust words coming from a coaches mouth”

  3. LOSERS !!!! please shut up !!! None of the people commenting about their injuries or some other players injury didn’t even make it to the super bowl… HEALTHY !! some of those guys should’ve sat on the bench faking a injury… Heath Evans… Child Please….

  4. this is getting ridiculous. is jay cutler the first guy to ever come out of a game for an injury? i have a hard time believing hes getting all this attention cause he wasnt “acting” injured or wasnt acting how everyone thought he should be. I get it, hes an easy target for sportswriters and your average know-it-all computer tough guys but its gotta end at some point. He’s getting more coverage then the two QB’s starting in the Super Bowl for crying out loud.

  5. “The debate will continue” as long as writers/players/fans/etc point fingers at the ones who are pointing fingers at Cutler and the Bears. And who cares if Cutler gets no respect? He and hundreds of other guys in the NFL get paid millions of dollars…to play a kid’s game. I like neither the Packers nor Steelers but I love the Super Bowl and don’t want Jay Cutler to be the center of debate for the next week or so.

  6. Why does the media hate Cutler? What is the cause of this unprecedented pathological group hate?

  7. So he had an MCL sprain and played and led the league in INTs? A healthy Brees wins a SB, and a injured Brees leads league in picks. Cutler could of hurt the team more than he could’ve helped.

  8. “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.”


    If I remember correctly, Payton was chastised by the NFL for not reporting Brees on that week 4 injury report, so the next week he listed about 20 people on the report, including Brees.

    As for how many weeks he actually suffered due to the injury, he never missed a snap in practice or any game time, and he only wore a brace for two games.

  9. Wasn’t Brees only off by 2 interceptions or so from Eli’s mark this year? Being that I don’t remember a bunch of Saints receivers batting the ball up, Brees might have done more harm then good.

  10. The bottom line is the Bears were a team that should have never made it as far as they did,Cutler=Stage two loser…..It will be a long time before we will have to watch the Bears waste valuable air time again….And why has so many Bears fans forgot that if Cutler was that great and that tough Denver wouldn’t have dumped him for Kyle Orton…

  11. Spoonthis says:
    Jan 24, 2011 8:07 PM
    An NFL coach lied about an injury report? What is this league turning into? Payton is not even a disciple of the Hoody.

    Actually payton is a disciple. He came outta dallas under Parcells, who had the hooded menace with him. They are both from the parcells coaching tree.

  12. Tonight on SportsCenter, Drew Brees gave a classy defense of Cutler and said it was wrong for other players to be mouthing off on a guy’s injury like that. Really good comments.

    Heath Evans had no business airing private team matters just because he was playing broadcaster for a day.

  13. dfeltz: Couldn’t have said it better… Who is Heath Evans and when did he become the know all of everything going on in football today? A marginal player at best weighing in with Skip Bayless, gives him little to no credibility… Who cares waht Heath Evans has to say… He also ran his mouth about the Fins new Offensive coordinator, who was a receivers coach at New England when Mr. All World Evans played there. How much interaction did a FB have with the receivers coach? You sir, are lucky to still have a job. Worry about your team, your advice is as unwanted as you were in Miami…

  14. I have no idea how badly Cutler was really hurt or whether or not he could have come back in the game. Only Jay Cutler and maybe the team doctor will ever truly know that.

    I also don’t know, or frankly care, what kind of guy Jay Cutler is.

    And as for the new Drew Brees angle, I have no idea if his injury is comparable to whatever happened to Cutler, and I could not possibly care less about whether or not the sanctity of the holy “Injury Report” was somehow defiled.

    My sole takeaway from this incident will be a new found disrespect on my part for the professionalism, maturity, and character of every single current and former player who tweeted or otherwise made public criticism of Cutler on Sunday before they could possibly have known the extent of his injury.

    Please don’t give me any nonsense about him not limping or appearing to be in pain on the sideline. Speaking as someone who has suffered multiple serious knee injuries, it is quite possible to WALK normally with a torn ligament.

    It is the ability to plant, cut, or use leverage to throw a long pass (or punch, for that matter) that is affected.

    Half of the deactivated players you see walking around in sweat suits on the sidelines on a typical Sunday are suffering from knee injuries, no limp to be found.

    And every one of the players and ex-players should have, and I suspect probably did, know this. They let their personal animosity towards Cutler cloud their judgement.

    And they deserve to criticized, not lauded, for it.

    However badly injured Cutler turns out to be is beside the point. These people had absolutely no way of knowing, and should have kept their mouth shut until they did.

  15. 34sweetness says: Jan 24, 2011 7:49 PM

    So he had an MCL sprain and played and led the league in INTs? A healthy Brees wins a SB, and a injured Brees leads league in picks. Cutler could of hurt the team more than he could’ve helped.

    BINGO. If you are going to hurt your team playing hurt, the head coach should pull you whether the doc clears you or not anyway. Or if you as a player don’t have the confidence in the injured body part to play hurt, you are still going to hurt your team and should sit out. The only thing that matters to a head coach is what players give your team the best chance to win the game.

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