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Packers hint they will rest starters next week

M. McCarthyvsBears Getty Images

When the Packers were undefeated, coach Mike McCarthy talked about not “playing scared” down the stretch.

Now that his team has a loss on the register — and the No. 1 seed in the NFC — McCarthy’s tone is changing.

“We do need to get healthy as a team,” said McCarthy after Sunday’s win via ESPN.com. “Every team in the league is probably saying that today. We’ll look at all our options.”

Aaron Rodgers made his preference pretty clear. The Packers have nothing to play for and he wants to make sure he’s healthy for the playoffs. After last night’s game, Rodgers spoke about the regular season in the past tense.

“I think as a close friend of Matt [Flynn] I wouldn’t mind seeing him get an opportunity to play a little bit, but I’ll definitely do whatever Mike says,” Rodgers said.

You’d think that Rodgers’ voice would carry a lot of weight. It will be a weird matchup because Detroit doesn’t have a ton to play for either.

Then again, the Lions could potentially avoid a trip to New Orleans in the first round and instead go to the NFC East winner’s home if Detroit wins the No. 5 seed.

McCarthy’s voice ultimately matters the most here. And it sounds like he’s not going to take a win at all costs philosophy.

“We’re going to play to win the game next week,” said McCarthy. “I’m not real excited about a division opponent coming in here and thinking we’re not going to do everything we can to get to 15-1.

“But health is an issue for us. I think that’s stating the obvious.”

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50 Responses to “Packers hint they will rest starters next week”
  1. artvandelay187 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:04 AM

    They should try and win so the Saints can eliminate them.

  2. jimmysee says: Dec 26, 2011 9:06 AM

    Resting starters suggests a two week bye — lots of time to get rusty.

    And maybe what that patched-up offensive line needs is more reps together.

    Sending the Lions to visit Drew Brees and Co. in N.O. would be a nice touch.

    Detroit couldn’t beat the Packers in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day. Seems a stretch that this dome team could do it on New Years Day at Lambeau without help from the Packers.

    Go Pack Go!

  3. rollinghillsgolfer says: Dec 26, 2011 9:10 AM

    Got mixed feelings on this game. I’m coming up from Mississippi to see it and I’d like to see the starters for the Packers, but I also want them to be healthy for the playoffs. I’d imagine McCarthy will have the starters in for the most a half, but would not surprise me if he does not play them at all

  4. boiler72 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:12 AM

    Where’s that 46defense moron that was on here last night? Probably still trying to fit into his Underoos from 1985, like an idiot.

    But, I’m sure the Steelers hat and shirt he bought to wear during last year’s Super Bowl, still fit him, LOL.

  5. orangeflh says: Dec 26, 2011 9:14 AM

    If the Pack rests their starters, and still wins the game, it will be a lot of fun reading the comments on here from Lions fans.

    They’ll use every excuse from poor officiating to alien abduction.

  6. garyman1 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:22 AM

    The Pack should sit Rodgers (and any other nicked up Packers) for most of the game and work on their rushing offense. It would be “nice” to win but getting out of the game healthy is far more important.

  7. nitschke66 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:33 AM

    Football nation and fellow Packers backers….I went to New England game last year and watched Matt Flynn almost beat the Patriots on their field, their last lost before losing to KC last week. I was so impressed with Flynn’s performance that it made me wonder if he could be a good starter. If I am King for the week, I would have Rodgers start and play two series and then bring in Flynn. Same thing with anyone who is banged up, either rest them or play them for two series. Play to win but rest your banged up guys and Rodgers.

  8. bcar1023 says: Dec 26, 2011 9:36 AM

    No offense orange but its been everyone but Lions fans making excuses and crying. Ie. Suh is dirty, there was a facemask on Ponder, the Raiders should’ve run the ball on third and 2, the Lions haven’t played anyone, etc… the truth is that the Lions aren’t crying and its everyone else that is afraid. Anyone on earth knows that the Lions are going to throw the ball and no one can stop them. Sounds to me like everyone but Lions fans are worried.

  9. wisdomrules says: Dec 26, 2011 9:40 AM

    The Pack are weak. To lose to the Chiefs…. Blame it on the injuries to rest your starters… Let’s be honest you do not want to play your starters and get beat again going into the playoffs. Your not looking as strong. You let a weak bears team stick around to long. Looks like there are some chinks in the Packers armor, so you do not want to be exposed next week. That is fine, this way you will have excuses why you lost again before going into the playoffs.

  10. zenofobe says: Dec 26, 2011 9:41 AM

    Lions are 2.5 point favs right now. Could have something to do with the crappy Packer defense facing the “dome team,” which, really, GB is, too.

    GB was only up 7-0 before Detroit self-imploded on T-Day. Even with Rodgers in, Detroit’s chances are good. Packer fans shouldn’t get ahead of themselves.

  11. trapshoot says: Dec 26, 2011 10:00 AM

    Will Suh behave himself in Green Bay?

  12. mountaindont says: Dec 26, 2011 10:01 AM

    The Packers need to be worried about the playoffs especially when playing the Saints. There is no doubt in my mind that Brees is going to pick the defense apart. Just look at what QB`s of a lesser quality did against the defense. Brees can break the bend but not break defense the Packers have been using. Getting Pickett back will be a bit of an improvement but that`s not going to be the difference

  13. scoops1 says: Dec 26, 2011 10:05 AM

    ..In TED we trust

  14. totpackage says: Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM

    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live!

  15. tshirttom says: Dec 26, 2011 10:23 AM

    The Lions are coming on and no one wants to see Rogers or other starters get hurt. This game means nothing. Rest some people on both sides.

  16. scratchnpost1234 says: Dec 26, 2011 10:27 AM

    Zenofobe, they can’t help but get ahead of themselves. Orange, did you watch the first half of the Thanksgiving day game? Make sure McCarthy “scouts” the refs again and your oline will get away with holding all game long again. I hope KVB sacks Rodgers and takes a nap on him after the play.

  17. orangeflh says: Dec 26, 2011 10:36 AM

    @bcar1023-

    I’ve always kind of liked the Lions even though they’re a division rival and I am most definitely a Stafford fan. If the Pack didn’t have Rodgers, Stafford would for sure be the guy that I wanted.

    That being said, Suh is dirty, and there’s no denying it. I don’t necessarily think he intends to be dirty, but think instead that he lets emotion get the best of him far too often. Perhaps he’ll grow out of it, but right now, he’s definitely dirty. Put him in any other uniform and Lions fans would see it the same way.

    There have been way too many incidents with Suh to call it any other way. I have a hard time understanding why so many Lions fans can’t just come to grips with Suh’s dirtiness and it makes it hard to take a lot of them seriously.

    Packers’ center Frank Winters was dirty and he meant to be. He was dirty his entire career. I think most Pack fans will admit to that. At least the ones I know, in my age bracket, will. Those that can’t are clearly delusional and are also not to be taken seriously.

    A whole lot of Lions fans have popped up out of nowhere this season and for the most part they’re a great departure from what I’m used to. It used to be that Lions fans were like Bears fans to me. Fun to talk smack with, but still knowledgeable and realistic. This new bunch reminds me more of Vikings fans.

  18. packfaninchitown says: Dec 26, 2011 10:41 AM

    Playoffs are going to be tough with our injuries and defense if they keep playing the way they are now, and the Lions have earned their spot in the playoffs. They are the second best team in the division and are now a legitimate force in the NFC North AND the NFL.

    I say rest the starters and let the chips fall where they may in the playoffs. The Saints will be tough to beat in two weeks but so will the Giants. (Not sure about the Cowboys so much but I don’t think they beat NYG next week).

    Playoffs are what it’s all about baby. Put the best team on the field and may the best team win.

  19. chris6523 says: Dec 26, 2011 10:51 AM

    I worry about the packers facing the Saints. The pack is just so bad defensively right now. Matthews and Woodson are about the only two guys on the defense making any plays. Hawk is just horrible and I would guess their defensive line might just break the team record for fewest sacks by a defensive line since the stat has been kept. I could see the saints, even in bad weather conditions, being next to impossible for the pack defense to stop.

  20. scytherius says: Dec 26, 2011 10:59 AM

    Who woulda thought it … a pre-season game at the end of the Season.

    Both teams should rest who they need to and not take chances.

  21. leatherface2012 says: Dec 26, 2011 11:13 AM

    why rest your starters in the super bowl? that makes no sense…..packers will lose to new england in first round of playoffs

  22. jarrman46 says: Dec 26, 2011 11:27 AM

    Before the game last night Collinsworth said the Packers biggest weakness going into the playoffs was their o-line. 3 hours later after the qb doesnt get touched all game he switches his assessment to the Packers cant rush the passer. Like it or not the packers are one meaningless exhibition game left against the Lions and two home playoff games away from theier second straight trip to the Super Bowl. Packers have already beat every team in the NFC playoff field this year except San Fran but all I keep hearing is they have no chance against this team or that team. I can see the Packers on the podium holding the Lombardi in Febuary and there will be fools on here yelling that there is no way they win opening day next week.

  23. walle7e says: Dec 26, 2011 11:28 AM

    The Pack has home field advantage throughout the play-offs. Do not underestimate this advantage both offensively and defensively. Go Pack Go!!

  24. mpprice says: Dec 26, 2011 11:28 AM

    totpackage thats just called westward expansion. we are just slowly taking over because pretty soon when the vikes leave you will all be cheeseheads anyway

  25. acmepacker says: Dec 26, 2011 11:32 AM

    totpackage says:
    Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM
    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live
    *****************
    I’ve lived in Minnesota, wasn’t any different than Wisconsin except no football team to be proud of.

  26. bordner says: Dec 26, 2011 11:40 AM

    totpackage says:
    Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM

    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live!
    ———————————–
    So what’s your point? I live in California because I have a great job here, but California still sucks. Good paying jobs do not always equal a better place to live. I’d actually even rather live in Minnesota than California. Minnesota is just Wisconsin with a unfounded superiority complex.

  27. gb4mn0 says: Dec 26, 2011 11:44 AM

    totpackage says:
    Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM
    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live!

    ==========================
    It’s easy to see why so many MN based companies are happy to hire Cheeseheads vs hiring the illiterate resident dolts like you.

    Can you count to ten yet?

    I’ll bet for Christmas your mommy knitted you a pair of mittens with idiot strings.

  28. zenofobe says: Dec 26, 2011 11:49 AM

    orangeflh-
    What Suh did on T-day was an embarrassment to all the Lions fans I know, myself included. But your observation (“I don’t necessarily think he intends to be dirty, but think instead that he lets emotion get the best of him far too often”) is right on. That’s the difference between Suh and, say, James Harrison, who is intentionally a headhunter.

    Suh’s still young and got his comeuppance. Let’s see what he does with it.

  29. outlawshark says: Dec 26, 2011 11:51 AM

    totpackage says:Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM

    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?
    _____________________

    That enormous vacuum called “sucking” pulls them there against their will.

  30. joetoronto says: Dec 26, 2011 12:05 PM

    totpackage says: Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM

    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live!
    *************************************************
    But do they have schools in Minnesota?

  31. gbpbacker84 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:06 PM

    This just in, any team can lose on any given Sunday. It happened to the mighty Saints to one of the worst teams of all time against the Rams. Saints would be hard pressed to win on the road in SF let alone GB. If anyone is getting ahead of themselves its New Orleans fans, they couldn’t win on the road last year at 7-9 Seattle in the playoffs so they have alot of work to do to even earn a matchup with GB. Packers earned homefield with hard work and precise execution and regardless of their flaws have by far the best chance of making it to SB XLVI, all these comments predicting GB’s demise are wishful thinking.

  32. 6ball says: Dec 26, 2011 12:10 PM

    .

    @chris6523

    “I worry about the pack vs. the saints ”

    I’m an AFC guy who agrees. The Packers should not overlook these guys. Most Patriots fans would rather face young Dan Marino than Drew Brees. His lifetime QB rating against NE must be 700. It seems every pass goes for a touchdown. He makes the Patriots non competitive, even at home . If I were a packers fan, I would fear the saints.

    .

  33. dd393 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:25 PM

    totpackage says: Dec 26, 2011 10:16 AM

    Hey Packer Fans If Greenbay Is so great Why do so many Cheese Heads Live In Minnesota ?

    Answere Because Minnesota is a real state that has jobs that pay decent and is amuch better place to live!

    =================================

    And they spel beter to.

  34. fearthevikes says: Dec 26, 2011 12:34 PM

    Back again … why are Pack overrated? Horrible, pathetic defense. Aaron Rodgers is no Bret Favre, who struck fear in opponents.Why are Lions chokers? They are dirty, classless, like their coach and would get smashed by san fran or N.O. But they’ll crush the packers, with or without their starters. Lions and Packers just bottom of the barrel football fakes

  35. dourselfafavreandretire says: Dec 26, 2011 12:37 PM

    The truth is the saints d and packers d are both weak with the packers giving up 12 more total yards a game (big difference?). Its just that the packers get the turnovers with the saints at the bottom of the list. The only reason people are afraid of the saints is they have seen brees do this year in year out. Rodgers hasnt had the time yet. And if you really wanna argue about it rodgers and his offense have been shredding dfenses all year by putting up tons of points (50 plus more then saints). Bottom line is their offense scores more then the other team almost every week. And by a lot. This is a qb league. If you dont have a qb that can put up the numbers (Smith/Flacco) you wont do a thing in the playoffs. End of story.

  36. roastbeefsandwich says: Dec 26, 2011 12:47 PM

    The way the Packers kept throwing against the Raiders, even after they had blown them out, shows that they were trying to break Favre’s TD pass record at home, which didn’t happen that game. Something tells me they will play hard and keep throwing to pad A Rod’s stats.

    Of course, this will get a bunch of thumbs down, but even my brother, the biggest A-Rod homer/Favre hater said this.

  37. packrulzm says: Dec 26, 2011 12:53 PM

    Lions fans are simply the best! You have not won in Green Bay since 1991. Let that one sink in for a minute……1991. That’s 20 freakin’ years. 20. Now, you’re all crowing about a team that made the playoffs (Congrats, it’s been too long), but has not won a playoff game since 1991 as well. Let’s not get a head of ourselves here. The Lions are a good team with NO playoff experience that will have to win on the road in hostile environments. I’m not sure that they are up to the task. However, as a Packer fan, I am happy for Lions fans. You’ve suffered long enough, now sit down and simply be happy that you were lucky enough to make the playoffs.

  38. boiler72 says: Dec 26, 2011 12:53 PM

    I don’t really care – I got the only Super Bowl win I needed to see – the one that shoved it all up Favre’s ass. So, whatever. Packers 31, Steelers 25, game over. Bears fans and Packer haters everywhere can deal with it and too bad if you don’t like it.

  39. usmutts says: Dec 26, 2011 1:00 PM

    As much as I like watching Aaron Rodgers, I’m hoping Matt Flynn gets a lot of playing time. He will be a free agent and some team is going to get a quality QB. Like Rodgers before him, Flynn has sat for three years and learned how to play NFL football.

    I keep thinking that one of the teams with a high draft choice will trade it for lots of lower draft picks to some team desperate to draft one of the hot college prospects, then sign Flynn and get a QB better than anyone in the draft.

  40. cpinct says: Dec 26, 2011 1:41 PM

    Funny how this thread turned into a real estate debate.

    Um, has anyone considered that my fantasy team is depending on Rodgers to play most of the game?? Just kidding (kind of). Packers would be crazy to play Rodgers very much in this game. My guess is he plays the first series, drives the ball down the field against a poor Lions pass defense, throws one TD pass and exits the game. Matt Flynn comes in and hands the ball of 75% of the time. Packers lose but who cares.

    Saints are an excellent team, 49ers defense is surprisingly exceptional, and whatever team gets in from the NFC East could be good on the right day, but with all of that said, none of these teams are going to come to Green Bay and beat the Packers at home. Wont happen despite how poor the Packers defense has been most of this year.

    Packers vs Patriots for one of the highest scoring Superbowls in NFL history.

  41. fearthevikes says: Dec 26, 2011 1:42 PM

    No one should fear Aaron Rodgers, I know we in Minnsota dont, not like we feared Brett Favre when he was at QB. BTW, how could they get rid of Brett for that punk Rodgers? Two worst playoff teams this year? Easy, it’s the Packers and the Lions, both of which would be crushed by Saints, N.O., or the Giants for that matter.

  42. bdblue says: Dec 26, 2011 2:19 PM

    fearthevikes— a. the Saints and N.O. are the same team. b. the Packers have already beat both the Saints and Giants.

    Everyone who is talking about how bad the Pack would get beat by the Saints……ummmm…..we already played and BEAT the Saints once this season. The Pack is still 14-1….better than the records of any of your teams. So keep talking smack morons.

  43. bigboi30 says: Dec 26, 2011 2:43 PM

    Ok, had enough of the Lions would get smashed by the no offence, field goal kicking team in San Fran, or the pathetic defense in Green Bay. Lets look at the facts. This season when Detroit played San Fran. It was a very, and I mean very ugly game by both teams were the refs were way to involved. Not to mention San Frans so called winning touchdown, came on a 4th n goal that was so close, it took the refs and ppl upstairs almost 20 mins to make the final call. It was made and handed San Fran a win. Any real, and I mean real fan would tell you that call could of went either way.

    Now, for the Thanksgiving game with Green Bay. Lets remember that the halftime score was 7-0, and Rogers wasnt even a factor. It wasnt till the second half, AFTER Detroit lost thier entire secondary (Delmas, Berry, Write) to injury, that Rogers decided to make an appearence.

    So yes the haters will hate because they have nothing better to do. And real fan, player, and coach know that Detroit is a dangerous team. Call us dirty, classless, young, WE DONT CARE, when will you get it.

  44. 1historian says: Dec 26, 2011 3:29 PM

    usmutts: your 1 p.m.

    Good scenario, but try this – Flynn gets lots of time v. Detroit and looks GOOD. The Pack does a sign and trade with Flynn then trades him to a QB-desperate team for a slew of players and a draft choice or two.

    Or three.

  45. 1historian says: Dec 26, 2011 3:43 PM

    Bigboi30 – last Thanksgiving the Lions led the Pats at halftime. The Pats won 45-24.

    Talk is cheap, because until you’ve shown that you can run with the big boys, that’s ALL it is – talk.

    When was the last time you won a Thanksgiving game?

    BTW – I don’t hate your team, but I am an old fart and (when I’m not driving around getting lost) I can remember all the way back to the 50s when they were WINNING.

    Your team is young and has some talent, but until they can come into someone’s back yard and BEAT that team they ain’t dangerous – they are (at best) a young, mouthy team, and sooner or later you have to back that up by beating a better team in their own back yard.

    Until that happens it’s all talk.

  46. wisdomrules says: Dec 26, 2011 4:57 PM

    Lions>Packers

  47. childressrulz says: Dec 26, 2011 10:04 PM

    wisdomrules says: Dec 26, 2011 9:40 AM

    The Pack are weak. To lose to the Chiefs…. Blame it on the injuries to rest your starters… Let’s be honest you do not want to play your starters and get beat again going into the playoffs. Your not looking as strong. You let a weak bears team stick around to long. Looks like there are some chinks in the Packers armor, so you do not want to be exposed next week. That is fine, this way you will have excuses why you lost again before going into the playoffs.
    ___________________________
    You have your head up your ass. The chiefs got lucky a one in a hundred shot. The lions stand zero chance of winning even against the Packer backups.

  48. childressrulz says: Dec 26, 2011 10:11 PM

    fearthevikes says: Dec 26, 2011 12:34 PM

    Back again … why are Pack overrated? Horrible, pathetic defense. Aaron Rodgers is no Bret Favre, who struck fear in opponents.Why are Lions chokers? They are dirty, classless, like their coach and would get smashed by san fran or N.O. But they’ll crush the packers, with or without their starters. Lions and Packers just bottom of the barrel football fakes
    ____________________________
    This guy is a delusional idiot. Have fun in the bottom of the NFC North for years. You guys are the new Lions. The queens will always suck. We will happily keep our 13 championships while you guys make do with…how many do you have?

  49. binarybulge says: Dec 27, 2011 5:05 PM

    chris6523 says:
    Dec 26, 2011 10:51 AM
    I worry about the packers facing the Saints. The pack is just so bad defensively right now. Matthews and Woodson are about the only two guys on the defense making any plays. Hawk is just horrible and I would guess their defensive line might just break the team record for fewest sacks by a defensive line since the stat has been kept. I could see the saints, even in bad weather conditions, being next to impossible for the pack defense to stop.

    Why worry? Have some faith. That’s their game-plan. Put up points, and bend but don’t break on defense. They already beat the Saints once, and it wasn’t close, despite the delusional rants from Saints homers that it was. GB was up 2+ scores most of the game.

    I will agree that GB’s defense has been leaky to say the least, but I’m thinking a lot of it has to do with complacency. They need to focus and not get so comfortable that their offense is going to put up 30+ and bail them out. The reason I’m not worried is that they can, and will, step it up in the playoffs.

  50. binarybulge says: Dec 27, 2011 5:07 PM

    Oh, and let’s stop baiting the trolls that are harping on the Pack about the Chiefs loss. Just about every championship team in history has had a bad loss or two along the way. Better to a 6 or 7 win team than a 2-win Rams team (winless at the time) and a 4-win Bucs team on the road to nowhere.

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