Report: Jay Cutler took painkiller

Response to a report that Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler underwent a painkilling shot for his injured left knee during halftime of the NFC Championship Game was basically a collective shrug of the shoulders by a couple of NFL veterans.

The Chicago Sun-Times quoted an anonymous source on Wednesday saying that Cutler underwent the shot at halftime and then tried unsuccessfully to keep playing in the third quarter of the Green Bay Packers' 21-14 win. He was later diagnosed with a sprain of his left MCL.

"I think just about every NFL player has had to have shots to play, at times," New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I think fans would be amazed at what some guys go through just to be able to play on Sundays.

"This is a physical game where you're battling all kind of stuff, whether it's ankle injuries, knee injuries, shoulder injuries, your joints. And guys play with torn ligaments all the time, or partially torn."

Brees had a sprained MCL -- which translates to a partially torn MCL -- this season, but he said he did not have a shot in 2010.

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that he had the same shot before the NFC title game that Cutler had at halftime, and the paper reported safety Chris Harris also took the same anti-inflammatory -- Toradol -- before the game.

"It's supposed to last 3½ hours or something like that,'' Urlacher told the Tribune. "In the player's mind, it's not a big deal.

"The later in the season it gets, the more you take them for nicks and bruises. You don't hurt as bad and it keeps you loose."

Urlacher and Brees both had problems with critics -- including other players -- who thought Cutler bailed out too quickly on his team during a big game. The Bears have said the decision to sit Cutler was up to the medical staff, and not the player.