Coming down to the last few remaining weeks in the NFL you start to see players on certain teams, usually the ones who have already clinched a playoff berth rest their players. But what about the teams that don’t have anything to play for as they already know that their not going to the playoffs, should they rest their players too?
It’s a question that certainly comes up as on Saturday, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL against the Washington Redskins on Saturday. It was a meaningless game for both teams as all they really had to play for was draft order and pretty much nothing. So did it make sense to play Peterson? Well it did for fantasy football owners and maybe fans, but looking at it now as Peterson’s 2012-13 NFL season may be in jeopardy, playing him didn’t look like the right call.
Now this isn’t the first injury for Peterson this season as he already missed three weeks of the season with an ankle injury. Luckily for the Vikings they didn’t have anything to really play for as they were already out of playoff contention at the time. However back-up running back Toby Gehart filled in well for the superstar running back while he was out. Though, it didn’t really change the Vikings out come of their games as they still lost each one, however it showed them that in the occurrence of another Peterson injury they would be okay to run with Gehart as the lead back.
Unfortunately on Saturday the Vikings would get that other occurrence as Peterson would go down with a knee injury that would sooner be revealed as a torn ACL and a torn MCL. Gehart would rush for 109 yards off of 11 carries in the absence of Peterson and the Vikings would defeat the Redskins 33-26.
But the Vikings weren’t really thinking about a win as losing Peterson with an injury of this severity this late in the season, really hurts them. Now of course it doesn’t hurt them this season, but next season it’s going to.
Now reports have come out saying that Peterson looks like he’d be okay to return week one next year, however it’s not 100 percent as no one can determine that being so far away from the 2012-13 season. Though what they do know is, that training camp will mostly be Gehart taking the first string snaps as a timetable for this injury at least a couple months.
Though, other there has been other reports saying that Peterson may be placed on the PUP list to start next season which would put him out until at least week 6. So taking all of this into account, does it really make sense to play your players in a meaningless game?
In my opinion, it depends on the scenario. For instance if the player was already hurt that season or that player has a history of injuries, then no, you don’t play him. However if their healthy and playing good let them play.
Though on the flip side, each year come this time, there’s about 12 to 15 teams that are already out of the playoffs, and of those 12 to 15 teams about half of them are very bad to the point where they should rest their starters as they should test out the backups and the younger players to give them a chance. In doing that, maybe they find out that they have something hidden talent on their team which they could then go ahead and make a trade to bring in some new talent or stay put and keep them.
So looking at both of the scenarios, I say just let the players go out and play the game. That’s what they get paid to do, so play them. Yes you don’t want to put them at risk of missing anytime or the rest of the next season, but at the same time it’s there job and injuries come with the game and they new it from the time they signed up.