As Jay Cutler continued to publicly downplay the hard hit by Ndamukong Suh Monday night, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall insisted the Detroit Lions defensive tackle crossed a line.
"Listen, I'm around Jay every day, and I'm going to stand up to this. Jay doesn't want to create any controversy," Marshall told the Sun-Times Tuesday night from his Bowling for Borderline event at Lucky Strike. "Was it the worst hit? No, it wasn't the worst hit. But I've never seen someone play the game like that.
"For a wrestling move to be accepted on the football field is ridiculous. It was illegal. It wasn't borderline illegal. It wasn't suspect. It was illegal. It's bad football."
Tuesday morning, a league spokesman said the play was legal and "not a foul."
During his weekly appearance on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM (1000), Cutler said his bruised ribs wouldn't hold him back from playing next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and again defended Suh's play.
"It was a tough hit,'' Cutler said. ''He caught me just right. It was an awkward fall more than anything and kind of caught me on his knee and the ball a little bit. I'll be all right."
Asked why he was so insistent on speaking out, Marshall said he was defending the "integrity of the game."
"But it does hit home harder when it is your buddy. We don't want to see that," he said.
Marshall pointed to teammate Johnny Knox as an example. Knox is trying to recover after major surgery following a vicious hit to the back last season.
"You see what he has to do everyday to get his body back in a position to play again," Marshall said. "You see guys going down every year. You pull for guys. You don't rejoice when you see guys go down."