01/25/2011 04:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Charles Barkley On Jay Cutler Injury: It Was Wrong To Question A Guy's Heart

Several NFL players and former players ripped Jay Cutler on twitter after he left the NFC Championship game in the third quarter due to a knee injury. Charles Barkley defended the Bears quarterback and said on Tuesday that he thinks the criticism Cutler received was wrong.

"I was mad at the players, to be honest with you. I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy's heart," Barkley said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Now reporters, they're going to do what they want to. They're entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don't think it's appropriate to question another guy's heart."

Barkley pointed out that Maurice Jones-Drew criticized Cutler's knee injury after the Jaguars running back missed the final two games of the season "with a bad knee."

"And he was really the first guy who crucified Jay," Barkley said of Jones-Drew. "You have to be careful, because in the two most important games of the year, he sat out with a bad knee. And then it really makes him look like an idiot now."

Jones-Drew backtracked his criticism of Cutler earlier on Tuesday, claiming that he never questioned Cutler's toughness and that his tweet was taken out of context.

Barkley went on to say that it's fair to bash a player if he is not playing well, but it's "100 percent unfair" to criticize a player if he's hurt.