I’m as big a fan of playing out the schedule as you’ll find here on Bleacher Report.
I firmly believe the Colts have lost multiple playoff games because they rested their starters towards the end of the season.
If it can be avoided, it should. As Herm Edwards would say, you play to win the game.
But like every rule, there are exceptions.
Ben Roethlisberger should have been an exception. He was beaten up badly this season. For that matter, he’s been beaten up pretty good the last few seasons.
There is no acceptable scenario where he should have been dropping back to pass in a meaningless game against the Cleveland Browns.
Which is why, if he can’t play or is negatively affected in the Steelers’ playoff game in two weeks, Mike Tomlin should be fired.
There are coaching decisions that are so bad you can’t overcome them. Grady Little’s decision to keep Pedro Martinez in game seven against the Yankees during the 2003 ALCS is the most recent one of those decisions that comes to mind.
Getting Ben Roethlisberger killed in a meaningless game that, frankly, the Steelers would have won without him is on that level.
This isn’t one of those second guessing moments either. In my week 17 preview, I said the Steelers should rest Roethlisberger. They had to. The guy’s been questionable all season. He has a shoulder problem. He needed rest. He needed to get healthy.
Instead, now he'll need two weeks to recover from a concussion—assuming he can recover in two weeks.
But hey, at least he got to rest while they were wheeling him off the field on a stretcher.