Toughest player? Urlacher surprises some

Brian Urlacher said Jay Cutler is one of the toughest players he's faced or played with. Getty Images

The first name Brian Urlacher mentioned Thursday when asked who was the toughest player he ever faced might surprise some Chicago Bears fans.

"I played against him, and played with him, (Jay) Cutler is tough, man," Urlacher said on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio. "I know a lot of people don't like him, and this and that, but I played against him when he was in Denver and I played with him in Chicago, and I'd just rather play with him in Chicago. He's a tough dude."

Urlacher also mentioned Brett Favre, which wouldn't surprise anyone, but as Urlacher mentioned, Cutler is a polarizing figure whose toughness was unfairly questioned by players and fans alike when he couldn't play in the second half of the 2011 NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers. It was later learned he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, and while he tried to play, he couldn't.

Considering the number of hits he's taken since arriving in Chicago in 2009, and being able to bounce back from almost all of them, Cutler being described as tough shouldn't surprise anyone.