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Don’t expect to see any Tampa Bay Buccaneers starters in street clothes this weekend.
The 8-8 Bucs close out the season in week 18 against the Falcons, and no matter what happens, Tom Brady and company will be the four seed in the AFC.
With nothing to gain and possibly everything to lose, some teams might consider benching important guys. Well, head coach Todd Bowles definitely doesn’t feel that way.
“It’s football. You can’t play 16 games and then worry about the 17th. You can’t play three preseason games and 16 games and practice every day and then say he may get hurt on the 17th game. You can get hurt the first week. You can get hurt in training camp. If you worry about that, you’re probably going to get hurt anyways. We signed up to play football, coach football and that’s what we’re going to do,” Bowles told the media Monday.
While the Bucs will run with the usual starters, Bowles did say “it’s possible” some guys get pulled early, but no final decisions have been made as of Monday.
Brady echoed Bowles sentiments and added, “We’re football players. It’s football season so we play football.”
This is a refreshing take from Todd Bowls and the Buccaneers.
Resting starters in meaningless games happens at a pretty high rate in pro sports. In fact, the NBA lets guys rest during the regular season when games definitely still matter.
In the NFL, it’s completely normal to let your best players sit out the final game or play limited reps if there’s nothing to gain.
It drives a lot of fans insane, but in theory, there’s an argument to justify it.
However, Tom Brady, Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers won’t be participating. When the Falcons and Bucs meet this weekend, Brady and every other significant player will be suited up and on the field.
Now, will they play the entire game? That remains to be seen, but they’ll definitely be out there to start. It’s a very refreshing take from Todd Bowles.
The best case scenario for the Buccaneers is to jump out to a huge lead and then rest guys down the stretch. No matter what happens, fans can expect to see Tom Brady and the rest of the team’s stars rocking and rolling against Atlanta.