Colts coach Frank Reich jokes that Texans should rest QB Deshaun Watson

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Mark Lane
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One of the big conundrums going around the Houston sports scene is whether or not the Texans should shutdown quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Given that Watson tore his ACL in his rookie season, and he has been sacked 145 times in the last 44 regular season games, it seems practical to sit the two-time Pro Bowler for the final three meaningless games rather than risk his health and future productivity to help a 4-9 team have a respectable finish.

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich would be in favor of resting Watson.

“I think that the Texans absolutely should do that, at least for this one game,” Reich joked on a conference call with the Houston media. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist.”

The Colts host the Texans Sunday at 12:00 p.m. CT at Lucas Oil Stadium. At 9-4, same as the Tennessee Titans, the Colts need every win they can scrounge as they seek to win the AFC South for the first time since 2014.

In terms of resting a star quarterback amid an irrelevant stretch to end the season, Reich says he couldn’t do it.

“I would not adhere to that philosophy, and I don’t think players do either,” Reich said. “I think players think they’re paid to play and that’s their job. Now, if a coach wants to make a decision and override that then the player has to respect that. There’s factors that go into that. So, I’m not going to say that that would never happen.”

When teams have secured playoff berths and can’t move up or down in the seeding, that is when NFL teams have historically rested star players, and the Colts could find themselves in that position if they beat Houston and Tennessee falters.

“Certainly, in this business you learn that never say never,” said Reich. “There are unique situations. I’m not saying this is one of them, but I think you have to leave it open case by case.”

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