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SIT THEM DOWN, INJURIES COULD KILL WHOLE SEASON

Published Dec. 18, 2005

Should Tony Dungy rest his Colts starters these next few games?

Imagine you are an Indianapolis Colts fan, watching your 16-0 team opening the playoffs. There is Jim Sorgi, second-year quarterback from Wisconsin who has two career touchdown passes, warming up to start. And there is Peyton Manning in street clothes, his knee torn up from a blindside hit late in the final regular-season game against the Cardinals.

What price perfection? The Colts' drive toward a perfect season should not take precedence over their drive to a Super Bowl victory. With homefield locked up and three meaningless regular-season games left, coach Tony Dungy should play his key starters only long enough to keep them sharp, and healthy, for the postseason.

Sure, all of us fans would loveto see the Colts going for 19-0, and if they are at full strength, it appears no one can stop them. It would be fantastic to see a deserving guy like Dungy, who has done so much for the Tampa Bay area, go down in history as matching the '72 Dolphins. But does a 16-3 record with a Super Bowl ring sound so bad?

A Super Bowl title for Dungy, even with a loss or two. Now that's what I call perfect.