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Report: Cutler took painkiller shot at halftime of NFC title game

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was roundly criticized when he appeared unwilling to play after suffering a knee injury in an NFC Championship Game loss to the Green Bay Packers.

But a source close to the situation told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday that Cutler received a painkiller shot at halftime in an effort to finish the Jan. 23 contest.

Cutler injured his left knee during the first half and left for good after the first series of the third quarter. He was replaced by Todd Collins, who was later supplanted by Caleb Hanie in the Bears' 21-14 loss.

In the locker room at halftime, the Bears planned to play the remainder of the game without Cutler, according to the source, but he insisted on trying the painkiller and playing in the second half.

After Collins entered the game, Cutler's toughness was questioned by players around the league, while his teammates spent the days after the loss defending their quarterback.

An MRI later revealed that Cutler suffered a Grade II tear of his medial collateral ligament.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore (12) makes a deep catch as Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) trails on the play during an NFL football game , Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif.

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