I'm not concerned about injury (and certainly not about "running up the score"), but I would think the Pats would feel more comfortable if Mallett had a little more game experience. He's thrown 3 passes in his NFL career. If Brady gets dinged up and needs to sit out a couple plays to get his ankle taped or something, what is Mallett going to do? Pretty much just hand off a couple times, right? What if Brady gets a concussion and can't return?
I guess the counter-argument is that Brady and the first team have struggled in closing out games at times, so giving the varsity squad reps in "grind out the clock" scenarios is good situational practice to prepare them for doing the same in one- or two- score games.
Yeah, I really dislike that counter-argument though. How does staying on the field at the end of a blowout going to help you prepare for late-and-close situations? The opponent isn't playing hard, the pressure is non-existent, I mean other than the amount of time left on the clock, what are the similarities between the two situations?