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Doug Pederson Sends Clear Message About Playing Starters This Weekend

Jacksonville Jaguars Introduce Doug Pederson As New Head Coach

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 05: Doug Pederson speaks to the media during a press conference introducing him as the new head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Stadium on February 05, 2022 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The playoff scenario for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been set in stone: If they beat the Tennessee Titans in Week 18, they will win the AFC South and reach the playoffs. So with an inconsequential Week 17 game against the Houston Texans this weekend, what is head coach Doug Pederson's plans for the starters?

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Pederson made it clear that there are no "meaningless" games in the NFL. He said that the team will play all starters in Week 17 regardless of the stakes.

"There is never a meaningless game," Pederson said, via ProFootballTalk.

But that's an easy thing to say before a game is actually played. Pederson could easily send all of his starters onto the field and then pull them after a few quarters, a half or even a couple of drives. 

He's done it before.

Back in 2017, when Doug Pederson was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, his team managed to clinch homefield advantage after 15 games, so he rested his players for their season-finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia would lose that game en route to winning the Super Bowl.

One thing is for sure: If Pederson plays his starters and any of the suffer an injury against the Cowboys, he will never hear the end of it. 

And heaven help Pederson if an injury in Week 17 precedes the team losing to the Titans in Week 18.

Is Doug Pederson handling the situation properly? Should he be resting his starters this week?