Jay Cutler Exits NFC Championship Game With Knee Injury
Just when Cutler suffered the injury was unclear. What was crystal clear to the sold-out Soldier Field crowd, however, was that the Chicago Bears -- already down 14-0 to the rival Green Bay Packers when Cutler departed -- were in a world of trouble with 39-year-old backup Todd Collins in the game.
Cutler, who passed for two scores and rushed for two more during last week's divisional-round defeat of Seattle, started the second half as the Bears went three-and-out. He threw an incompletion on third down and was 6 of 14 for 80 yards and an interception when he left the game.
Collins played in two games during the 2010 season, replacing Cutler in a Week 4 loss to the New York Giants after the Bears' starter suffered a concussion. In those two games, Colllins was 10 of 27 for 68 yards, no touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 5.9.
On Collins' first possession, he threw three straight incompletions, the last of which was initially ruled an interception before a Chicago challenge reversed the call.
Meanwhile, Cutler remained on the sideline and did not appear to leave the field for X-rays.
Collins was later replaced by Caleb Hanie, Chicago's third QB. Because Hanie entered the game prior to the fourth quarter, according to NFL rules, neither Collins nor Cutler was eligible to return.