Colts head coach Jim Caldwell does not strike me as an individual that likes to waste time. In his Monday press conference following the Colts 28-16 win over the Broncos, which clinched homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, Caldwell made is very clear how his staff and players will approach the Thursday night match-up with the Jacksonville Jaguars:
I want to set the record straight so we can kind of move on. What we are going to do is approach this fourteenth game exactly the way we did one through thirteen.
Caldwell went on to make answer the big question on seemingly everyone's mind now that homefield is locked up:
The only thing that will deter anyone from playing time is health issue.
So, there you go. If a player is hurt, he will not play. If he is healthy, he will. This is exactly how a coach should approach an utterly meaningless game like the one this Thursday night against the Jaguars.
And yes folks, it is indeed utterly meaningless for the Colts. It affects nothing in standings. It gives nothing to the Colts in terms of playoff seeding. The regular season exists to separate the playoff teams from the non-playoff teams. Once your team's playoff seeding is secure, all other regular season games mean nothing.
Now, if by some miracle the Colts defeat the Jaguars and Jets, and go into Week Seventeen still undefeated, that is the only instance where I can see (and support) our coach playing important players in a game that then "means something." However, we aren't there yet. For now, it seems healthy players will indeed play against the Jaguars.