Jacksonville Jaguars Won't Rest Starters in Week 18

The Jacksonville Jaguars could wrap up the AFC South if all goes well in Week 17, but the team is apparently already making plans for Week 18. Head coach Doug Pederson revealed at a Wednesday press conference that he had no intention of resting starters in the season finale, even if the team has nothing to play for. Despite only being 7-8, the Jaguars could essentially wrap up a division crown and guarantee themselves the fourth seed in the AFC with a win on Sunday over the Houston Texans and a Tennessee Titans loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. Both are likely.

The Jags are 4.5-point favorites this week over the Texans, who sport the league's worst record as 2-12-1 and who are, in all likelihood, prioritizing the pursuit of the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Titans are 11-point underdogs to the Dallas Cowboys, who are still holding out hope they can snatch away the NFC East crown from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Whether or not to rest starters is a timeless debate in the NFL, with endless arguments and examples of success and failure for either side. The relatively young Jaguars could potentially benefit from the increased reps ahead of their first playoff game since 2017, or they could suffer a catastrophic injury that immediately sabotages any chance at postseason glory. Only time will.  
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