Shutdown Corner - NFL

We're used to fans questioning the toughness of NFL players, especially in a game that has a Super Bowl berth on the line. If the quarterback of your hometown team can't go for whatever reason (especially if it isn't really obvious that he's hurt), there's going to be some negative talk (and possibly some guerilla theater after the game).

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[Photos: See more from Cutler's very bad day]

What you don't usually see, as you did while Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler(notes) spent over half of the NFC championship game on the sideline with a knee injury, was the sort of invective we saw from Cutler's NFL contemporaries, and some notable ex-players. We've got a roll of tweets after the jump in which Cutler is questioned outright for his toughness and resolve with his absence in the game that the Green Bay Packers won, 21-14. A very interesting turn of events, considering the fact that these were all in-game before anyone had any idea what Cutler's injury actually was. Frankly, we've never seen anything like it.

The Bears said all the right things about Cutler's injury in the postgame news conferences, but public perception is going in a very different direction. And in Cutler's case, it starts with the guys who take the field and have a different level of understanding when it comes to putting it all out on the field. And we probably shouldn't invite Cutler and Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) to the same offseason barbecue...

[Rewind: NBA star fakes injury so another player can start]

It's a tough call. I have seen guys with torn knee ligaments walk off the field as if nothing was wrong. Will all these players (current and former) come back around and apologize if it turns out that Cutler has a serious injury?

Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT..less than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

All I'm saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee... I played the whole season on one...less than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter


Cutler is messing up ppls money. Collins may not get invited back next yr. He didn't come to work to work..smh.less than a minute ago via Echofon

I've hurt my knee playing football 4 times. Never once did I then stand up on sidelines afterwards.less than a minute ago via OpenBeak

If my knee was hurt or acl/mcl/pcl sprain, I would not be standing up on the sideline. #jaycutlerless than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

Knee-gate in Chicagoless than a minute ago via Plume

Its hard to know, but it def looked like it. RT @LSUFAN869: @LanceMoore16 Cutler gave up wouldn't you say?less than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

If I'm on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACTless than a minute ago via ÜberTwitter

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