There are two schools of thought among NFL players and coaches regarding resting on the final week of the regular season.
Some prefer to play even if there are no incentives and implications because stopping for a week might cause them to lose their momentum.
There’s also the thought of resting the starters to prevent possible injuries and give them a long time to heal.
But for Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season, some quarterbacks deserve a break because their fate won’t change whether they play or not.
Here are three play-callers who can take it easy before proceeding to the offseason or the playoffs.
3. Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson has no reason to play because the Seattle Seahawks are already out of postseason contention.
This campaign will only be the second time he’ll miss the playoffs with the team that drafted him in 2012.
The Seahawks will be playing on the road against division rival Arizona Cardinals.
Russell Wilson literally said love you to Pete Carrol and y’all want to cancel the Seahawks and say it’s over and their not a relationship 😂 pic.twitter.com/tsDRgimVDG
— Sami Jarjour (@SamiOnTap) January 5, 2022
If this season will be his last with Seattle, it’s fitting to have their win against the Detroit Lions be his final game for the franchise.
There are talks about Wilson exploring other options to continue his NFL journey.
Whether he stays or not, changes are bound to happen in Seattle, with head coach Pete Carroll potentially on his way out as well.
But playing in Week 18 doesn’t help him in any way possible.
2. Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts is lucky that he didn’t get hurt when that safety railing collapsed at FedEx Field.
But their postseason aspirations did not collapse after defeating the Washington Football Team.
Regardless of what happens during their Week 18 game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles will remain the seventh seed in the NFC playoffs.
Therefore, it would be better for Gardner Minshew to take the field against Dallas.
This angle of Jalen Hurts and the Eagles fans falling after the railing collapsed at FedEx Field 😧
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2022
They can let Hurts rest and prepare for their Wild Card game against an undetermined opponent.
Allowing him to step back is also a nice reward for the Eagles’ playoff berth.
No one expected the team to enter the playoffs under the leadership of rookie head coach Nick Sirianni.
Hurts contributed mainly to the team’s success, especially as another asset in their punishing run game.
1. Aaron Rodgers
It’s up for the football writers to determine if Aaron Rodgers will be this season’s Most Valuable Player.
After all, leading the Green Bay Packers to a 13-3 record is a vital credential that voters must consider.
Aside from having the best record in the league, Rodgers also has 35 touchdowns and only four interceptions, with 3,977 passing yards through Week 17.
But no matter how the results unfold, he can skip the team’s Week 18 game against the Lions because they already have the top seed in the NFC Playoffs.
Peyton wants @AaronRodgers12 to slow down on the MVP awards 😅
"If you win this fourth MVP, I don't think you really wanna get to five. I think you just retire and you go off into the sunset." pic.twitter.com/9JJzPvEief
— ESPN (@espn) January 4, 2022
Therefore, the postseason goes through Lambeau Field, which could be a nightmare for opposing teams due to its freezing temperatures during winter.
There’s a chance that Rodgers won’t be the only one sitting out this game.
Matt LaFleur would rather have his starters healthy and rested for their Divisional Round schedule, regardless of their opponent.