In the first half of Sunday’s home loss to the Cardinals, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler face planted while trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception.
Although he appeared to hurt his upper-body, the team has reconfirmed their initial consensus of a “hamstring injury.” But just for a second, let’s pretend that the Chicago Bears aren’t telling the truth.
Let’s pretend that an NFL team is capable of lying or cheating. And just for a second, let’s stop believing everything we’re told and pretend that Jay Cutler didn’t just injure his hamstring on Sunday, if it all.
When you read between the lines of John Fox’s scripted press conference from earlier today, maybe you’ll hear what I did. After being immediately grilled about the status of his injured star quarterback, Fox began beating around the bush.
Well, several bushes to be exact.
During today’s press conference (if that’s what you want to call it), Fox responded to questions about his quarterback’s injury with very strategic ignorance. Despite the fact that the Bears have sacrificed the state of their franchise for this player, the team’s new head coach seemed to think that Cutler’s injury shouldn’t be the center of conversation.
Clearly, this is Fox’s first season in Chicago.
Before he was even asked a question about the Jay Cutler injury status, Fox came out of the gate declaring that Cutler does indeed have a “hamstring injury.”
Almost immediately after stating that, one reporter asked, “Is that good news, coach? I mean, the fact that it’s not obviously something severe?”
Fox’s response: “Well I think…umm…anytime it’s not real severe I think it’s good news. But we’ll just evaluate going forward.”
TRANSLATION: “I won’t comment on whether or not Jay Cutler’s injury is severe or not because I can’t say whether or not Jay Cutler’s strained hamstring was the only injury. But we’ll just evaluate it going forward.”
Although most of his responses were hogwash, Fox’s answer to one question, in particular, raised my eyebrows. About a minute later, a different reporter asked Fox if Jay Cutler had undergone an MRI that morning.
The question was as simple as that. But still, the Bears coach continued beating around bushes by saying, “I’m not going to get into all the tests. But that could have been one of them.”
TRANSLATION: “I’m not going to comment on Jay’s MRI, but I did just accidentally admit that he underwent several medical tests for a hamstring injury.”
While my opinion of today’s press conference is still somewhat speculative, you just have to read between the lines. And you have to ask yourself a few tough questions.
Why would a player need several tests to verify a strained hamstring? And if it really is just a hamstring, why didn’t Fox outright say that the injury wasn’t severe?
I could compile a grocery list of questions for John Fox and the Chicago Bears. But that would be stupid, because I know (from experience) that the NFL won’t answer tough questions.
I’m not the first person to say this, either. Right before the second half of yesterday’s loss to Arizona, FOX sideline analyst Tony Siragusa insinuated that “hamstring injury” was actually synonymous for “bullshit.”
Here’s what Siragusa said from the sidelines on Sunday:
“I got a chance to talk to John Fox on the way out of the tunnel before he talked to me. He was complaining to the officials about helmet-to-helmet contact, about protecting his quarterback…Then I asked him, I said, ‘John, Jay Cutler goes in, what’s the injury?’ And he (Fox) sort of said ‘oh…well…it’s gonna be a hamstring.’ He was chasing it was the hamstring. So that’s the official report that they’re going with…and uhh…that’s all I can say. Not too convincing…but it’s a hamstring.”
On top of being an analyst for FOX, Siragusa is a former NFL defense tackle and Super Bowl champion. So yeah, there’s a good chance he’s not just saying that for shits and giggles.
Although not quite as credible, I saw a take on Reddit this morning that was quite eye-opening. According to user MrUPSman, Cutler’s body language alone suggested that there’s likely more behind this.
“I don’t buy the hamstring. I really believe he suffered a concussion on that helmet to helmet. Fox was screaming at the refs and after the INT Cutler ran straight up to Gase and didn’t limp off. I feel he was admitting he was concussed and needed to get out.”
For those of you wondering if an NFL team is capable of scandal, I encourage to pull your head out of your ass.
Tony Romo fractured his collarbone on Sunday but was back on the sideline (in a cast) during the fourth quarter. Jay Cutler strained his hamstring, yet the team is treating it like The Manhatten Project.
I’m not saying the Bears are telling a complete lie, I’m just saying they’re not telling the complete truth.
How about that for some word-smithing.