With their 38-16 romp over the Bears on Christmas Day night, the Packers have nothing to play for in Week 17. Their 14-1 record guarantees them the best record in the NFC (and the NFL), even with a loss to the Lions next Sunday, and the Packers have enough injuries, especially up front, to turn over starting duties to reserves and let the chips fall where they may.
Coach Mike McCarthy and NFL MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers don't sound too opposed to that prospect, according to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert. McCarthy told reporters both that "We're going to play to win the game next week" and "Health is an issue for us and I think that's stating the obvious"; Rodgers' quote is even more pro-resting starters.
Added Rodgers: "I think we need to get healthy. That's the most important thing. This was a good win for us to get back on the right track [and] get the No. 1 seed obviously. Now that we have the top seed locked up, I think the priorities may shift a little."
If the Packers rest players who are injured and banged-up, expect Matt Flynn to be doing a fair bit of handing the ball off to Brandon Saine and John Kuhn. Either way, expect the Lions, who will be trying to duck the NFC's powerful No. 3 seed — the Saints or 49ers, depending on what shakes out — to try to throttle the Packers and avoid the No. 6 spot in the NFC.