TO REST OR NOT TO REST: The question has come often in recent weeks, and Dungy answered as he has answered all along.
Question: Would he rest his starters if the Colts clinch homefield advantage?
Answer: He just doesn’t know.
At least not yet.
“If we’re fortunate enough to win, what I’ll try to do that next week is what I do every big decision I try to make for this team – I’ll pray about it and try to get some wisdom from the Lord,” Dungy said. “If we decide to play our guys, which I’m sure they’ll all want to play, I’ll pray that that don’t get hurt, and that we can go out there and keep winning.”
Dungy was asked if his decision to play running back Edgerrin James and quarterback Peyton Manning despite a 32-point lead with four minutes remaining was indication he might play starters if the Colts clinch home-field advantage?
“That’s one theory to have,” Dungy said. “Those guys, they want to play. They want to play all the time and you have to take that into consideration. We don’t let them vote, but I do take into consideration how they feel.”
“I’ve never been in that situation before. I know what I think I’ll do, but you never know until you get there. I really haven’t spent a lot of time trying to worry about it, because we’ve got a big fish to fry this week before we get to that.”
Dungy said the decision to leave James and Manning in was made during the fourth quarter.
“We basically had set up that we were going to do one more series with those guys,” Dungy said. “We didn’t know where we were going to get the ball or how much time was going to be left. Normally, when we get into a situation like that, where we’re ahead, we say, ‘We’re going to play one more series,’ or, ‘This is it.’’’
James rushed for 10 yards on the drive to surpass the 100-yard mark for a second consecutive game, and the ninth time this season.
“We sometimes get that information,” Dungy said, smiling. “As a matter of fact, we did have that information (Sunday). I’ll ask, usually. You don’t let that interfere with what’s happening in the game, but once the game’s in control, you do think about some of those things.”
TAKING A BREAK: The Colts had a third Monday off in five weeks this week, with the exceptions being the weeks of victories over New England and Pittsburgh.
Those games were on Monday night.