"Folks, I never question a player's injury but I do question a player's heart," wrote Deion Sanders.
Oh boy, was Deion right.
Jay Cutler, MCL sprain, tear, break, whatever adjective they're using today, should have been back in that game.
For him to say he wanted to, but the coaches wouldn't let him back? That's bullspit, seeing as this is the league that lets players with CONCUSSIONS come back in.
For them to say that an MCL sprain was too serious, you have to think either Jay wasn't all in or the Bears staff wasn't comfortable with Cutler going back in, and who wouldn't blame them, with talent as great as Todd Collins sitting in the wings?
This is a league of toughness and yes, if your brain is in jeopardy, then you should probably sit out. If it's a regular season game, there are plenty more, but in an NFC Championship game, one where you can be embraced by one of the most storied franchises and have a chance to secure your place in the lore of Lombardi, then there's no way in Helsinki you should sit on the sideline, not even on crutches to at least make it SEEM like this injury is serious.
There was no emotion on Cutler's face to suggest that he was even happy to be there. Was that because of not being allowed to go in or the frustration of not doing as well as the phenomenal gunslinger he had built himself to be?
No, I am not just a jealous person, as Mr. Urlacher has kindly implied for all those criticizing the way this was handled. I am a fan, an unbiased one, as my team is Tampa Bay, that knows how to appreciate toughness. I've had friends play through injuries, one recently win a wrestling tournament with a, ironically, torn MCL and I myself played football with a stress-fractured femur until finally the coaches told me my leg would snap in half if I continued.
You could never see Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and damn, Ben Roethlisberger or Aaron Rodgers sitting out the rest of a conference game for something as little as this. The dedication to the team, coaches and fans would be too much to give up.
But as we saw in the drama in Denver, Cutler isn't too much of a team player. It might've taken an "injury" to show us all that.