The Bears lead in the NFC North, but Chicago still has the Lions and Packers nipping at their heels. The Eagles will host Chicago on Sunday night with playoff implications on the line for both teams. However, based on the results of the Lions and Packers games earlier in the day, Bears coach Marc Trestman has hinted that he is open to possibly resting starters during the late-night matchup, according to Bears Radio Network's Zach Zaidman. That could mean that the likes of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Jay Cutler could be on the sideline against the Eagles starters.
The decision to bench the starters for the Bears would be entirely based on the Packers beating the Steelers and the Giants somehow beating the Lions. While the Packers getting a win at Lambeau Field is very possible, a New York win against a potential playoff team like Detroit seems improbable to say the least. A Lions loss would all but eliminate them from the playoff hunt and make the Week 17 matchup between the Bears and Packers the equivalent of an NFC North championship game. A victory or defeat by the Bears on Sunday would essentially mean nothing if the Packers were to also win. Only losses by both the Packers and Lions would make a Bears win clinch the division, as neither Detroit or Green Bay would be able to match Chicago's then-nine wins.
Another factor in all of this would be Trestman's desire to sit Cutler and others, who have battled injuries all season. It is likely that Trestman would be open to benching players near the end of the game in a blowout, but the entire game? It is hard to see the motivation with the Bears potentially heading to the playoffs a bit rusty.
The Eagles also face the same scenario with the Cowboys, as a Dallas win would make an Eagles win or loss on Sunday meaningless. If the Cowboys were to lose to the Redskins, a Philadelphia win against the Bears would lock up the NFC East for the Eagles. However, Chip Kelly has already said he does not plan on sitting his starters after a blowout loss to the Vikings.