The Jaguars have no plans to rest any players for Sunday’s game against the Texans, team sources told ESPN, even though their Week 18 showdown with the Titans almost certainly will decide the AFC South title.
“It’s full steam ahead,” one Jaguars official told ESPN about the team’s approach against the Texans. “Everybody’s ready and everybody’s playing.”
Jacksonville wants to continue to build upon its winning culture and changed attitudes, and it does not believe that resting any players — despite questionable injury designations — helps the franchise achieve those goals.
This means that key players such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence (toe) and linebacker Travon Walker (ankle), the No. 1 overall picks of the past two drafts, both are expected to play Sunday despite both being listed as questionable.
Jacksonville has other ulterior motives as well, in line with its changed mindset. A win Sunday would give the Jaguars (7-8) their first set of back-to-back road wins since 2013, and it also would give them a chance to finish above .500 for the season if they win their last two games.
Jacksonville’s approach stands in contrast to the Titans (7-9), who rested certain players during Thursday night’s loss to the Cowboys. The Titans figured that with Thursday night’s game having no real bearing on their postseason hopes and with the final regular-season game being the most significant, they would being preparing for that game this past week.
But the Jaguars, who have won three straight games and five of their last seven, will be taking the opposite approach Sunday in order to maintain momentum and continue to build their “culture of winning.”