Read here from the Arizona Republic – apparently McCarthy said in a press call that he will be taking a normal approach to the game Sunday, playing his starters and playing to win. Now, I’m not sure of his exact quote, but judging from this article it seems he leaves open the possibility that he will play the starters but then bench them after a short time in favor or back-ups. He can still “play to win” the game with back-ups in there.
I sure hope our starters don’t play the whole game. We have nothing to play for. Unless McCarthy and staff have thought this through and would really rather play a certain team – a team we’d only possibly play if we win, I just don’t want to go full steam in this one and risk injury. And, even if there is a certain opponent we’d prefer playing against, too much is dependent upon the results of other games. One other reason to play the back-ups mostly is that it may serve as a great opportunity for our back-ups to get some live, semi-meaningful action which could help us out depth-wise come playoff time if we encounter injuries.
I know injuries can happen at any point, but unfortunately for us, a few key injuries could make us significantly less competitive in the playoffs. Rodgers sitting a lot Sunday is an obvious move. Same with Woodson, Collins, Barnett, Pickett, Jolly. But one group I might consider sitting for almost the whole game would be the O-Line. This group has solidified over time and they have become quite reliable. I would hate for a freak injury to upset the cohesion this group has worked hard to establish.
Your thoughts – just keep the starters in all game, half the game, or bench them for most of the game?