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Rest or rust? Packers coach McCarthy is still pro-rest

  • By Simon Samano NFL.com
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Some people believe rust was the reason for the Green Bay Packers' demise in the NFC divisional playoffs against the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Mike McCarthy isn't one of those people.

If the Packers' coach had to do it all over again, he'd still rest quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the meaningless Week 17 finale against the Detroit Lions with homefield advantage wrapped up.

“As far as sitting players, I wouldn’t change that at all," McCarthy said Wednesday from the NFL Annual Meeting, according to the Green Pay Press Gazette. "A fresh team is the best team because you can accomplish the things you need to accomplish leading up to that game if you go about it the right way.”

Perhaps in this instance, the right way would've been to give Rodgers at least a half against the Lions. Instead, McCarthy kept Rodgers involved from the sideline by allowing him to call the plays for quarterback Matt Flynn in the first half.

Sitting Week 17 meant a three-week layoff for Rodgers, who, after an unreal MVP regular season, was a mere mortal in the 37-20 loss to the Giants, completing 26 of 46 passes for 261 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Don't tell McCarthy, though, that it had any effect on Rodgers.

“If you want to talk specifically about Aaron, I thought Aaron played very well in the game,” McCarthy said. “I mean he had, what, seven dropped balls? We dropped the football, we turned it over, we didn’t tackle very well.”

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