(The Spread) - While the Chicago Bears have announced it as a “sprain,” reports have surfaced that Jay Cutler’s knee injury is a Grade II MCL tear.

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The knee injury has sparked quite a debate over the last 24 hours. Cutler suffered the tear during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game against the Packers and after trying to play in the third quarter, he came out for good. Todd Collins replaced him, although he only made it through a couple of series before being taken out for Caleb Hanie.

Some current and former players took to Twitter to criticize Cutler for what is being perceived as lack of toughness. He was shown on the sidelines walking around and even riding the bike at one point, so many players and fans perceived that he could have continued playing. But both he and the Bears said that he was too hurt to go back in.

Making matters worse for Cutler is that Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers played in the 2008 AFC title game after tearing his ACL just one week before. However, Hines Ward suffered a similar injury to Cutler’s in the 2007 AFC title game and was unable to return to action.

It’s important to remember that everyone has different thresholds of pain. Only Cutler knows if he could have gone back in or not and seeing as how he has only missed one start in his career, it stands to reason that toughness isn’t an issue with him. It appears as though everyone has taken exception to Cutler’s punk-like character, which makes him an easy target.

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