The Saints wrapped up home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs when they came back to beat the Steelers on Sunday afternoon, which means that their Week 17 game against the Panthers won’t carry any weight on where they’ll land in the postseason.
In those situations, coaches are always asked about whether they are going to rest key players in order to ensure they are as healthy as possible for the first playoff game. Saints head coach Sean Payton got that question on Monday.
Payton said that the team will approach the game like any regular season game and that they’ll try to win to end the year with a 14-2 record. As noted by multiple reporters on the Saints beat, however, Payton didn’t say that every starter was going to be part of that effort.
Payton could determine that backups could handle doing what’s needed to defeat a beaten-up Panthers team. If that’s the case, there’s a chance Teddy Bridgewater starts at quarterback for the first time since the 2015 season.