Cutler Injury and Athletic Trainers

There was no hotter topic across the nation yesterday than Jay Cutler, particularly here in Illinois.  A lot was made of a very simple issue, and it didn’t take an MRI to figure it out, it took an athletic trainer.

The simple fact is that football players, by definition, are warriors and would give anything to play the game.  We see that with the concussion issue.  And even though this injury was not a concussion, it was an injury and the athletic trainer and medical staff did the best they could to allow Cutler to play.  Forget for a moment your fandom, remove your emotions, and understand what in all likelihood occurred at Solider Field this past Sunday.

BELOW IS AN EDUCATED GUESS AS TO WHAT HAPPENED, this is to better clarify what we do as professionals…  I hope that I am certainly not “assassinating” anyone’s character.

Cutler most likely reported to the athletic trainer that he hurt his knee, at which point an interview was conducted and very little was done at the time.  The fact that he was upright and not in obvious distress warranted the staff to look closely at him during play.  After they noticed that he was not performing up to par, they most likely went to a sideline evaluation, which occurred just prior to halftime.  During that evaluation the athletic trainer tested the stability of the knee ligaments (four major), ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL and if the evaluation was thorough, it would have included a screen for a meniscus issue as well.

After that initial evaluation, it warranted the staff to take Cutler to the locker room early, most likely for a more in-depth evaluation, in a “relaxed” setting, as well as allowing the doctors to do the same tests as the athletic trainer.  What was most likely found on the Continue reading