Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers defends Jay Cutler, confirms he didn’t sustain a concussion

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  • Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers defends Jay Cutler, confirms he didn’t sustain a concussion

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers defends Chicago Bears Jay Cutler

There were several quarterback injuries in Sunday’s National Football Conference (NFC) Championship game. The Chicago Bears starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, suffered a grade II medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear. His backup, Todd Collins, injured his shoulder and will require surgery. While Packers quarter back, Aaron Rodgers, also developed a sore shoulder. Chicago lost and has been knocked out of the running for the Super Bowl. This gives both Cutler and Collins plenty of time to recuperate.

However Aaron Rodgers has to play again next Sunday in the Super Bowl. Coach Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers shoulder injury was minor and he would be ready to play against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington. Rodgers also sustained a brutal helmet to helmet hit. Chicago’s Julius Peppers crashed head on into Rodgers and incurred a 15 yard penalty and will almost certainly be heavily penalised.

Rodgers thanked his new helmet for sparing him a concussion. “Not too much to talk about,” Rodgers said. “I didn't have a concussion. I want to dispel that rumour. No concussion. I was fine. Yeah. Helmets are designed to prevent concussions, I think.” Rodgers has suffered from concussions twice before in the regular season. He returned to play next week after the first concussion but had to miss a game after the second. A third concussion within the time span of a season would not have been good for the quarterback.

Rodgers also came out in support of his rival Jay Cutler. Chicago’s quarterback has been in the spotlight since Sunday’s game. He has come under intense criticism for sitting out the NFC championship because of his injury. Players, analysts and fans have all joined in on the chorus and have been calling Cutler a quitter. At the same time many have taken up the task of defending Cutler.

First to come to his rescue were of course the Bears themselves. The club explained that the decision to replace Cutler with Todd Collins was made after consultation with Chicago’s team physicians. Cutler could have made his injury worse if he had continued playing. Not that it would have done the Bears any good. Cutler was already struggling against Green Bay’s secondary. If he had stayed on the field with one good leg, he probably would have done the Bears more harm than good. That hasn’t been enough to silence Cutler’s critics.

Cutler and Rodgers might be rivals in the National Football League (NFL) but they are also friends. Rodgers has not been impressed with how the press and his peers have handled the situation. “I was real disappointed, to be honest with you,” Rodgers said. “I've known Jay for a few years now and know what kind of competitor he is. I thought it was disrespectful, some of the stuff said about him.”

Cutler has had a tough year. Chicago’s offensive line has more holes in it than a fish net. Since the preseason and up to this Sunday, Cutler has been sacked a mind boggling 67 times. He had to miss a game because of the long recuperation time required after being sacked nine times during a previous New York Giants game. Cutler has been hit more times than New England’s Tom Brady and Rodgers combined.

It’s a miracle that he lasted this long without sustaining a significant injury. “To attack a guy's toughness, when you're not playing in the game especially, I thought was very inappropriate,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers praised Chicago’s coach Lovie Smith and Cutler’s team-mates who stood up for their quarterback. Comparisons have been made between Cutler and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees who played with a MCL injury in the 2009 season and led the Saints to a Super Bowl. Cutler’s injury is quite a bit more serious than what Brees played through. The off season awaits and will give both Cutler and the Bears time to heal up.