The Madden NFL 22 starters not playing issue is one that a lot of Franchise mode players remain puzzled by, especially during the playoffs.
Thankfully, unlike in Madden 22's other plethora of launch week bugs that remain without a fix (e.g. the score glitch, the slow motion glitch, etc.), the starter's not playing issue seems to have been pinpointed. Here's a breakdown of the cause of the starters not playing issue and how to fix it in Madden NFL 22.
Madden NFL 22 Starters Not Playing Issue: How to Fix
Unfortunately, it seems that the problem stems from the new Progressive Fatigue system introduced to the Madden series for the first time with this year's game.
Here's how EA Sports described the new feature in a blog post:
"During the duration of every game," EA Sports said, "players will fatigue as they have in the past, but will only be able to recover up to a certain point. This will help simulate how players wear down throughout a game, to the point that they are never fully at the same energy levels at the end of the game as they were at the start of the game. As players fatigue during the game, specific position-based ratings will start to decrease.
"During a Franchise season, all players will end the game at a degraded fatigue level that will be brought over into the Manage Player Health screens in Weekly Strategy."
However, while having players make decisions on Practice Intensity and Player Reps on a weekly basis sounds cool and more realistic in theory, what appears to be happening is that players' auto-sub sliders are sitting starters down for the entire duration of their mid-to-late season Franchise games.
Some are also reporting that the new feature is simply glitching out, causing fully rested starters to sit out as well. Nevertheless, for those looking for a solution, it appears this is something that players will have to monitor throughout their seasons in Franchise mode. Especially at the Running Back position, players will need to go to their base auto-sub sliders and adjust it so that their "Sub In" settings are lower than their current fatigue level.
Down the line, it would be best for EA Sports to simply make it so that the auto-sub sliders operate on an adjusted range, taking into account the starters' current fatigue level, rather than their opening day freshness.