Coach's Big Decision: Play or rest?

December, 22, 2012
12/22/12
1:30
PM ET
The Chicago Bears find themselves playing playoff football a little earlier than they anticipated as they need to win the next two in order to get into the playoffs. So while it would be ideal to rest players such as cornerback Tim Jennings and defensive tackle Henry Melton for a potential postseason run, the Bears don’t have that luxury because they need to win now.

However, if the Bears take control of the game early, they need to consider sitting Jennings and Melton as soon as possible for what should be a physical regular-season finale on Dec. 30 in Detroit.

Jennings and Melton are two of the club’s best defensive players, and the Bears will need them in order to win at Detroit, and in the playoffs.

The Bears might also consider similar moves with players such as quarterback Jay Cutler, running back Matt Forte and receiver Brandon Marshall if they can find a way to take early control over the Cardinals.

As banged up as the Bears already are, they need to avoid further attrition. At the same time, they need to win at all costs, which is why it’s important to dominate early.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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