Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Panthers Starters to Play Against Buccaneers

Carolina plans to play their first-team when they host the Buccaneers this Sunday.

Photos of the Panthers' projected starters from team's website.

The Panthers have clinched a playoff spot, a division title and are no longer undefeated after falling to the Falcons in Week 16. But Carolina still has the top seed in the NFC on the line. With that, they intend on playing their starters against the Buccaneers this Sunday.

"I wish I had that problem," Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera said when asked about resting his players, "but I don't. The bottom line is we know what's at stake, we know we've got to play and we're playing to win, obviously.

"This will be a tough weekend, a tough week obviously with the weather being what it is but we'll deal with it, we'll handle it and we'll go forward. It's a great opportunity for us, it's a great challenge. We don't have to worry about resting guys."

 The Panthers currently hold home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 14-1 record. Should the Buccaneers win this Sunday and the Cardinals, who are 13-2, also win, Arizona would take over the top seed in the NFC.

For the Buccaneers, the chance to send the Panthers into the playoffs with a two-game losing streak is plenty motivation heading into the final game of 2015.

"Obviously they have a lot to play for, to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs," safety Keith Tandy said. "We're going to get their best shot. Every time we play, the score doesn't always show up but it's always a physical game. We know how that game will be."

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