Wanting to stress that some people have questioned Jay Cutler’s toughness, Fox Sports ran a graphic on air of a series of headlines — including “Cutler Lacks Courage” — during the Chicago Bears season opener that criticized Cutler in Chicago for leaving last season’s NFC Championship game last season with an injury.

A Chicago Tribune investigation, however, revealed that these headlines never actually ran anywhere.

“It was misleading,” admitted Fox Sports spokesman Dan Bell. Commentator Darryl Johnston had confirmed on air that the headlines were taken from real publications.

There’s no telling what the fallout from such a gaffe might be, but it could wind up helping to take some of the pressure off of Cutler.

[NBC Sports]