FanShot

Should some teams start sitting starters for the playoffs right now?

+

Full post at http://harwoodandfields.blogspot.com/2011/12/winter-hibernation.html Winter Hibernation 15 weeks of concussions, squeaky joints, bad hammy's and torn muscles. Turf toe, broken hands, high ankle sprains. Hot summers with 3 a days to full pads in the winter. It all adds up and it leaves teams like the Texans and Steelers reeling in pivotal games and teams like the Colts, 'Phins and Rams out of it before they can even get off the starting block. Wanna see what that looks like over 15 weeks? The chart below shows how many players were affected by injuries sustained over the first 15 weeks of the season: Of the 59 players listed as out this past week, 25 were starters. A multitude of players that did in fact play were hampered by the injuries that had them listed as so. Ben Roethlisberger, Lamar Woodley, Willis McGahee to name a few. For playoff teams, the difference between, say a 12-4 number 2 or 3 seed that backs into the playoffs racked with injuries compared to rested, healthy and physically uninhibited 11-5 or 10-6 3 seed team can be monumental (Here's looking at you Texans). Its a common practice among teams already locked up in a playoff spot weeks before the first postseason game, but, I contest, if your guaranteed a playoff spot, why not take the chance let your starters get healthy and let your backups carry the load for the final game or two. Especially if the last two games are winnable without starters (here's looking at you Pittsburgh). Teams wanna see the Andre's Johnsons, Ray Lewis' and Patrick Willis' on the field and not on the sideline in the playoffs. Unfortunately, teams aren't always afforded such a luxury so early in the season. Teams that could benefit include a Raven's team who need to get healthy up the middle to generate the anchor for a defense dependent on it (Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata), the 49er's who will need Frank Gore 100% to control games against the NFC's offensively daunting playoff bunch and the Atlanta Falcons whose walking wounded include a Michael Turner, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Jasn Babineaux, Tony Gonzalez, two starting CB's and pass rushers. But, alas these teams will have to rough it in the next to weeks to maintain or gain ground on the plethora of teams in the playoff hunt. However, and ironically enough, the two teams that can actually employ this tactic RIGHT NOW, are the last two participants in the Super Bowl, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here's how and why they must take the opportunity to get healthy and get healthy now. Read analysis on teams to rest now at http://harwoodandfields.blogspot.com/2011/12/winter-hibernation.html

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Join Behind the Steel Curtain

You must be a member of Behind the Steel Curtain to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Behind the Steel Curtain. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker