NFL to review teams resting players
The NFL plans to have its rule-making competition committee review again, at some point, the issue of teams resting key players during games late in the regular season without playoff implications for them.
"This is an issue that we have reviewed in the past," Greg Aiello, the NFL's senior vice president of public relations, said in a written statement Friday. "The position of the Competition Committee, and affirmed by the clubs, when it was reviewed in 2005 was that 'a team that has clinched its division title has earned the right to rest its starters for the postseason, and that preparing for the postseason is just as important as protecting some other team's playoff opportunity.' That is the current policy.
"We are aware of the fan reaction and that is a factor to be considered. Some teams that have everything clinched, like the Giants and Patriots two years ago, choose to play all out to continue or gain momentum for the playoffs. We expect to continue to review this issue."
The Indianapolis Colts sparked a controversy when their first-year coach, Jim Caldwell, pulled quarterback Peyton Manning from last Sunday's game against the New York Jets. The Colts lost a lead and suffered their first defeat of the season.
Colts President Bill Polian later expressed surprise at the negative reaction to the move by the team's fans. Owner Jim Irsay said he'd approved the maneuver, which was designed to keep the club's front-line players healthy for the postseason. The Colts already had clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
The Jets benefited from the Colts' approach and now can secure a wild-card playoff spot with a victory Sunday night at Giants Stadium over the Cincinnati Bengals, who also might rest key players.
The league seems unlikely to force teams to play certain players. But NFL officials apparently would prefer that more clubs take the approach taken in the 2007 regular season finale by the New York Giants. The Giants, even in a game without playoff implications for them, played their regulars against the New England Patriots, who were trying to complete a 16-0 regular season. The Giants lost narrowly, but used the confidence and momentum they gained from that game as a springboard to a postseason run that culminated with an upset of the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: dolph924 | January 2, 2010 2:50 PM
Posted by: CapsNut | January 2, 2010 11:43 AM
Posted by: MKadyman | January 2, 2010 9:38 AM
Posted by: wis193 | January 2, 2010 2:15 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.