TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sunday may be the regular-season finale but Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will treat it like it’s Week 1.
That means all hands on deck.
Arians said Monday he won’t rest any of the starters against the Seattle Seahawks, and it’s not because the No. 1 seed is still in play if Carolina should lose to Tampa Bay.
“We’re playing so well right now,” Arians said. “I don’t want to change any way that we prepare. ... We know that we’re going to get a week to rest anyways so we’ll have plenty of rest.”
Arians has seen teams win after giving their players an extra week off and he’s seen teams “lose badly” after doing it. The latter is not a risk Arians wants to take. Arians said he won’t consider resting players in the second half of Sunday’s game, either.
“I don’t think you get anything out of resting guys,” Arians said. “Especially playing a team that’s in our division and we haven’t beaten them at home in a couple of years. We don’t want to start a precedent now.”
Had Arians decided to sit starters, it would’ve been only three or four. Arizona -- or any other team -- doesn’t have enough players on the bench to sit all 11 starters. The decision was Arians’ alone to make but he received some unsolicited input from his players.
In the locker room after Sunday night’s 38-8 rout of Green Bay and at the team’s practice facility in Tempe on Monday morning, a handful of players told Arians, “Look, we want to win this.”
To which Arians replied: “Of course we do.”
“I don’t know any of them that wanted to sit out,” Arians added.
Defensive tackle Calais Campbell was one in favor of playing.
“Things are flowing right now,” Campbell said. “We got a lot of momentum going our way. Every time you go out there and you’re playing good football like we are, you want to keep it going. It’s a division game. Seattle’s definitely a rivalry game we look forward to playing.
“I definitely circle that game on the calendar.”
One significant risk of resting players in Week 17 and then again during the wild-card weekend of the playoffs is what the time off will do their bodies. Rest is good but too much rest can cause players to get “stale,” Arians said.
It’s easy to come off a single-week bye, Campbell said. The adrenaline and focus of having a week off festers into a mentality of “wanting to do some damage,” he said.
“That’s what the bye week does for you,” Campbell said. “Two weeks off, I don’t know. That might be too much time, in my opinion.
“I don’t know how it’d feel. I can imagine, though.”