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Bill Belichick on resting starters: Numbers don’t add up

New England Patriots v Denver Broncos

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on from the sideline during a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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The Patriots have won eight straight AFC East titles and they regularly draw byes past the first round of the playoffs, so coach Bill Belichick has plenty of experience with decisions about resting players in the final week of the regular season.

He explained during a Monday conference call that those years of experience have led him to the conclusion that it’s not a conversation worth having.

“Right. I mean look, I don’t really understand that question,” Belichick said. “We have -- I don’t know how many starters we have -- but we have a lot more than -- we can only inactivate seven players. This isn’t like a preseason game where you have 75 guys on your roster. This is a regular season game. I don’t really understand that whole line of questioning. I’m not saying I’m a great mathematician or anything but the numbers just don’t add up for that type of conversation so there’s no point in even getting involved in it.”

With 53 players on the active roster, there’s obviously no way to play without exposing some of a team’s regulars to possible injury in Week 17. The Patriots could pick some of those key players and remove them from the equation, although Belichick isn’t likely to share any of those plans with the top seed in the conference still undecided.