Monday, April 11, 2011
Jim McMahon's facts on the Cutler injury
By Kevin Seifert
In an appearance Monday on ESPN Radio, a portion of which is available in the video below, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon touched on an issue we addressed last month: How the Bears handled the real-time dispersal of information after Jay Cutler's knee injury in the NFC Championship.
I understand where McMahon was coming from, but he did not have his facts entirely straight. Here's what he said, in part: "I think they just handled it poorly. I never saw him get hurt. I saw him leave early right before halftime. I think somebody should have come out and said, 'Hey, he hurt his knee. He might go, he might not.' But nobody said anything and I think he played one series and he was gone."
As we noted, the Bears actually did just that -- they announced his knee injury, listed his return as questionable and never changed that designation. Coach Lovie Smith and his staff surely had more important things to worry about than public perception of Cutler's toughness, but in reality Cutler would have been better served had he been declared out with a knee injury. "Questionable" created the impression that he could have returned but chose not to, which we later learned was absolutely not the case.
Cutler said last week that he appreciated his teammates' trust and had moved past the criticism he absorbed from players around the league. But McMahon's statement reflects the continuing confusion about the circumstances of the injury and Cutler's subsequent reaction.