In the aftermath of the controversy surrounding Jay Cutler sitting out most of the second half in the NFC Championship Game, Drew Brees has come forward and said he played six games during the 2010 season with a torn MCL.
In an interview with the Yahoo! Sports blog Shutdown Corner, Brees spoke about the varying degrees of MLC tears (which can take anywhere between one and six weeks to properly heal) and how since no one but Jay Cutler and the Bears training staff knows the extent of the injury, it's nothing that any of us have the right to comment on.
Brees is right to come to the defense of a fellow quarterback, but the conditional nature of his comments are still troubling. What Brees and many other commenters appear to be saying now is Since we don't know just how hurt Jay Cutler was, we shouldn't criticize him, but if the MCL tear wasn't so bad, he deserves to be criticized. This type of thinking is only going to increase if reports like this one in the Chicago Tribune of Cutler taking the stairs at a restaurant and only limping a tiny bit continue to come out.
The facts are: Jay Cutler tore his MCL during the NFC Championship Game. Jay Cutler attempted to play in the second half with a torn MCL. The Bears' training staff made the decision that his injury was too extensive for him to be effective and he was removed from the game.
Often in sports, there is grey area: Was he out of bounds? Did he get the shot off in time? Was the ball fair or foul? There's no grey area in this case; this story isn't about a potential injury, it's about a real one.