John Fox says sitting Broncos starters 'not been an option'

The Broncos are 11-3 and locked into the No. 2 AFC seed ... for now. Wins to close out the season against Cleveland and Kansas City will guarantee them a bye for the first round, but despite the lowly nature of their opponents, don't look for Denver to rest any starters.

Including Peyton Manning -- John Fox told the media that resting starters has "not been an option" yet.

"At this point, that’s not been an option. That’s something that we’ll talk about," Fox said on Monday. "Right now, again, our main agenda is to get better and improve so we can be playing our best football in January."

This shouldn't be remotely stunning: in order for the Broncos to clinch, they not only need to win against Cleveland, but they need the Patriots to lose to the Jaguars. Possible, sure, but not likely.

"If we don't play our best against Cleveland this week, it will be all for naught," Fox said. "All our focus will be on the Cleveland Browns."

Assuming both teams win, the Broncos would need the Patriots to lose to the Dolphins at 1 p.m. ET in Week 17 and make a last-minute call to bail out of using their starters against the Chiefs in their 4:25 p.m. ET Week 17 game.

A Pats loss in either week, though, could lead to the Broncos yanking their starters early, especially if Denver builds up a huge lead. (The Patriots play earlier than the Broncos in Week 16 as well.)

But considering there's homefield advantage (not throughout barring a Texans collapse) and a first-round bye in play, it's highly, highly unlikely that the Broncos rest their starters unless they get extremely lucky and have the Patriots unexpectedly lose.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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