NFL

Cutler sprained his knee ligament

Image: Quarterback Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
A teammate says Cutler is "limping around and feels bad that we lost."
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LAKE FOREST, Ill.

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has a sprained knee ligament and would have been questionable had Chicago made it to the Super Bowl.

Jay Cutler

DID JAY CUTLER QUIT?

Whitlock is pretty darn sure Cutler gave up Sunday, hurt or not. Also, check out our list of biggest quitters in sports history.

That assessment came Monday from coach Lovie Smith. He says Cutler sprained one of his medial collateral ligaments in Sunday's 21-14 loss to Green Bay in the NFC Championship game.

Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa said he feels sympathy for Cutler, who missed most of the second half when Chicago rallied for two touchdowns behind backup Caleb Hanie.

Asked about Cutler on Monday, Hanie said: ''He's limping around and feels bad that we lost.''

Cutler's removal from the game sparked widespread controversy among the media, other NFL players and Bears fans over the extent of the injury. Many felt as though Cutler's injury didn't look bad enough to warrant missing such an important game.

"I think it's crap," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "I thought they (players) were a union. If that's the way they unionize themselves, they got bigger issues than the one that they have with the owners. I'm very disappointed. That, to me, is dirty pool."

NFL players' Twitter feeds were ablaze Sunday with opinions on Cutler's status.

“All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee … I played the whole season on one …” Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said on his.

The Bears profusely defended Cutler after the game.

“If he couldn’t be in there, it’s because he was hurt, because he couldn’t go and probably thought he was hurting the team if he couldn’t be in there," linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "That’s why."

"I'll just tell you this, the one thing I know about Jay Cutler is he's tough," said third-string quarterback Hanie, who led a late comeback bid. "Another thing I know about him is he's going to stand up for his teammates. He didn't want to let his teammates down. So if he could have been on the field and been productive for the team, he would have done it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tagged: Bears, Jay Cutler, Caleb Hanie

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