METAIRIE, La. — Common sense states the New Orleans Saints should break as much starters as possible in Week 17.
Although coach Sean Payton wouldn’t show his intentions after the Saints (132 ) secured the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a 31-28 victory on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, his track record suggests he will play it safe.
In 2009, Payton rested starters at Week 17 when the Saints had the No. 1 seed secured up — even though they’d lost two consecutive matches from Weeks 15-16 and could’ve used a momentum boost.
In 2006, Payton rested starters at Week 17 when they had the No. 2 seed locked up — and they ended up dropping their first play off game 2 weeks after.
Payton discussed how much he second guessed it.
“I am sure Sean is faking na consider this program and demonstrably make the greatest decision for what he is just like we desire,” said Saints quarterback Drew Brees, that needs to devote this week trying on visors and Baseballcaps to obtain the correct fit — although that would mean completing the season with only 3,992 departure yards, his first season below 4,000 since joining the Saints in 2006.
“You know, every team’s different,” Brees said. “However, it’s some of the where you benefit from this time to break up, get healthy, get your own body correctly. At the same time frame, you want to stay on point, maintain the rhythm, maintain the good habits”
Many Saints players shot the”we’ll find out what goes on” route. However, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, for one, almost campaigned for an extra week of rest.
“That is why I am so glad we got the win,” Lattimore said. “a few weeks we can break our starters plus we can have two bye weeksand get our own bodies ready. That is what we need. It’s a long season, everyone has dinged here and now there. So we will need to be healthy”
The Saints’ offensive line could utilize the rest all all — even though it remains to be observed should two weeks away will probably be enough for Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead. Armstead abandoned Sunday’s game early after aggravating the torn pectoral that had sidelined him for the previous five weeks.
“I am gonna keep working, man, working to get back,” Armstead after the game. “It’s frustrating for sure. I felt just as though I was beyond this. But maybe not , therefore I’m gonna keep working with it.
“Tried to struggle for as long as I possibly could. Got worse. Tried it , just was not competent to. Do not want to be a liability, therefore I had to shut down it “
Armstead’s copy, Jermon Bushrod, also missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. Left guard Andrus Peat (who played both right handle and left handle during Sunday’s game due to Armstead’s injury and a brief injury to right handle Ryan Ramczyk) has fought a variety of minor injuries this season.
Ateam loaded with copies would nonetheless be compelling to see, though, as a result of Bridgewater.
The former Minnesota Vikings rookie and first-round draft selection worked his way back by a crushing 20-16 knee injury to play well for its ny Jets that preseason. Therefore the Saints decided to trade a third-round draft selection for that 25-year-old — even though he’d only a one-year contract.
The Saints chiefly wanted to improve their backup QB circumstance. However they wanted to create any recruiting inroads in case Bridgewater ever is logical as a possible successor to Brees.
It’s going to be interesting to learn how much interest Bridgewater brings from teams trying to find a starting QB this off season. Or when he is willing to look at staying in New Orleans as Brees will turn 40 in January.
Playing well on Sunday may likely boost both of the options.
Last but not least, there is a potentially serendipitous negative note to this Saints hosting Carolina on Sunday.
Both losses came against Dallas and Tampa Bay this past year.
So really, they can’t lose.