Amid questions that he didn't try hard enough to play through a knee injury, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler received a painkiller shot at halftime of the NFC title game, a source close to the situation told the Sun-Times.
It's believed Cutler injured his knee on the first play of the second quarter, when Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett landed on his left knee, as he attempted a short pass to running back Matt Forte. Cutler headed to the locker room for halftime ahead of his teammates, and doctors and trainers confirmed their initial, on-field assessment.
It's believed the team planned to shelve him for the remainder of the game, at that point. But that Cutler insisted on trying to play and received a painkiller injection to ease the pain.
He returned to the field a few minutes after the rest of his teammates, and he led the offense on the opening series of the second half. But on a handoff to Forte, Cutler's knee buckled, and he left the game for good after that three-and-out series.
On Monday morning, an MRI showed that Cutler suffered a Grade II MCL tear, an injury that typically sidelines athletes for three to six weeks.