Jay Cutler Injury: The Man Who Left the NFC Title Game (A Lesson for All)

Gene ChamberlainCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears throws the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

He played in the NFC championship game Sunday at Soldier Field.

He was a vital part of his team's bid to try to make it to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV.

He suffered a sprain and left the game, although he didn't really want to; team medical officials wouldn't let him back out on the field after he tested the injury.

There was plenty of twittering Sunday. Players around the NFL tweeted about a lack of guts, the lack of courage, about how they had played with an injury and how they know of players who played with an injury that was similar.

They couldn't feel his pain or even know how severe the injury was. It wasn't their body. Besides, he didn't even know the full extent of the injury.

It's a tough thing to have to leave the field while your teammates were counting on you in a championship game.

His name was Erik Walden and he started at linebacker for the Green Bay Packers. He left with an ankle sprain and did not return.

Let's go to Twitter now and try to find all the rip jobs NFL players did on Walden for not returning with an injury that is actually no less severe than a sprained medial collateral knee ligament. You'll have to look long and hard and you won't find those comments.

If you have a sprained medial collateral ligament, even a quack doctor can tell you that the next step is tearing the anterior cruciate if enough pressure is placed on it at a bad angle.

Ankle sprains can be taped extensively, but expecting Walden to play would have been ridiculous.

So Jay Cutler should have played?

Certainly some players have stuck it out through severe injuries, like Philip Rivers with an anterior cruciate ligament tear in the AFC championship a few years ago.

Then again, for every player who did something like this, for every Jack Youngblood who looked at a broken bone and told doctors, "tape it up and give me two aspirin," there are hundreds, no, thousands of players who could not and wisely did not try to go with severe injuries.

It's much easier to rip the guy who has bad body language all the time and may not be the most personable guy in the world. He certainly doesn't endear himself to media members or the public, that's for sure.

But does that qualify Cutler for less consideration when it comes to an injury?

It's a popular thing to do these days, jumping to conclusions without facts, throwing out accusations.

Ask the media members and those on the left who did it to Sarah Palin and right wing talk show hosts after the shootings in Arizona, something done by a whacked-out lunatic with left leanings, if he actually really had any sane thoughts at all.

Think about this next time you are making a horse's rear out of yourself on Twitter or on an Internet bulletin board.

If you jump to conclusions with regularity and post completely ridiculous statements with no real thought behind it or basis of truth, you probably won't do this, but do try giving facts a chance for once.

You might even look intelligent.


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