We ow know the answer. It is no. The Arizona Cardinals will not rest players in their regular season finale against the Seattle Seahawks, despite having already locked up a first round bye. In Arians' Monday media session, he explained.
"We will approach this game as if it was Game 1 of the season and treat it like every game," he said. "We don't want to set a pattern of different behavior."
In his weekly radio spot on Arizona Sports with Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta, he reiterated that fact.
"We're playing to win," he said. "It's a bad precedent to set this time of year that games don't matter, especially the Seahawks. We haven't beaten them in our building in a while."
Arians said the decision was his alone and it was not influenced by the fact the Cardinals still have a shot to get the top seed. And more than that, many players went to him and told him they wanted to play.
"I don't know of any of them that wanted to sit out," Arians said. "As a matter of fact, all of them came to me and said, ‘Look, we want to win this.' I said, ‘Of course we do.'"
BA noted there were eight or nine guys in the facility on Monday working out when it was a day off.
"We're playing so well right now," he said. "I don't want to change any way that we prepare. We've got a week to rest. We know that we're going to get a week to rest anyways, so we'll have plenty of rest."
It is important in many ways for the Cardinals to keep playing hard. There is the rust factor. This isn't a preseason game. You don't want the team shutting it down and then taking a week off after that. It is hard to get it started again. Plus, it is against a Seattle team they already beat and might have to face again in the playoffs. They don't want to just hand over confidence to a team they mostly dominated in their stadium on the road. They also don't want to send a message of disrespect to Seattle, something they take with them should they play each other again.
The last few weeks of the season have been like playoff previews. So is Week 17. In the playoffs you have to win. Such it is with this game.
Carson Palmer has a shot at some team records. Larry Fitzgerald does, too. John Brown is near 1000 yards. Michael Floyd can reach it with a huge game. Andre Ellington needs the reps.
Should we expect anything different from a coach to regularly says thing like "no risk it, no biscuit?" There is an element of playing smart, but he isn't going to take the foot off the pedal. It is football. You play to win and you don't let up.
The players already did what needed to do get rest. They have a bye. Beat Seattle, rest, beat everyone else.