The Jacksonville Jaguars are in an interesting spot in Week 17 of the NFL season. They have a 7-8 record ahead of their matchup with the Houston Texans. The way that the AFC South standings have developed, this game really doesn’t matter. Whether they win or lose, the AFC South will be decided in Week 18 when Jacksonville takes on the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars coaching staff is facing a conundrum. While you don't want players to get thrown out of their rhythm, you also don't want to give them extra opportunities to get hurt. Head Coach Doug Pederson has said that there aren’t any meaningless games and that he won’t sit any players.
Doug Pederson- “there’s never a meaningless game” - could rest guys who were injured, said there’s no one currently that falls in that category….— J.P. Shadrick (@jpshadrick) December 28, 2022
Plans on playing/coaching to win this week vs Texans #jaguars #duuuval #JAXvsHOU
Due to Pederson saying that he won’t rest any players, we can all assume that means that he will. All it would take is running back Travis Etienne being slow to get up, and I’d bet we would see a wave of starters exit the field. In Pederson’s defense, a win this weekend could help them still make the playoffs as a Wild Card team, but they would need a lot of help from other teams.
If they do decide to rest their starters, who could we see take the field on Sunday against the Texans? C.J. Beathard would slot in for quarterback Trevor Lawrence with a combination of JaMycal Hasty and Snoop Conner handling the running back duties for Etienne. Christian Kirk, Zay Jones and Evan Engram could see the sideline as Lawrence’s top targets. This would give way to Marvin Jones, Jamal Agnew and Dan Arnold getting more work in the offense.