Posted October 23, 2013

Christian Ponder ‘more than likely’ will start against Packers, Vikings say

Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, NFC North
Christian Ponder may get another starting shot this Sunday.

Christian Ponder may get another starting shot this Sunday. (Gary Wiepert/AP)

One day after saying that Josh Freeman would start against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday despite his less-than-stellar performance against the New York Giants on Monday night, Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said on Wednesday that Freeman was experiencing “concussion-like symptoms,” and that Christian Ponder would more than likely get the starting nod on Sunday night.

The Vikings announced the news via their Twitter account.

Ponder suffered a rib injury against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 22, and has not played since. Backup Matt Cassel took the starting spot through Minnesota’s 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 13, but it was Freeman — acquired as a free agent on Oct. 6, three days after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — who took the field against the Giants. He appeared completely overwhelmed, completing just 20-of-53 passes for 190 yards, no touchdowns and one interception in Minnesota’s 23-7 defeat. Frazier and the Vikings were roundly criticized for putting Freeman on the firing line before he could understand a new offense or develop timing with his new receivers, but Frazier said on Tuesday that after a comprehensive review of the game, Freeman would be his man going forward.

“We really felt like we put together a good plan, as I have said repeatedly,” Frazier said. “Watching him execute that plan in practice, we felt confident going into it that we would have success doing some of the things that we had in place. It didn’t happen, but there was nothing that I look back in that week of preparation that would have indicated that we would have came out with zero points from an offensive standpoint.”

BURKE: Vikings sit No. 30 in Week 7 Power Rankings

Now, the Vikings are in the uncomfortable position of giving the ball back to a guy they’ve all but cast aside. Ponder was active for the Giants game, and he had been cleared to play against the Panthers. The team’s first-round draft pick in 2011, Ponder had generally performed far below that status, completing 59-of-100 passes for 691 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions this season and 517-of-874 for 5,479 yards, 33 touchdowns and 30 picks through his career.

Ponder had not requested a trade through all the drama, but he did say in mid-October that he was simply looking for a situation in which he could succeed.

“You understand that it’s not about you, it’s about the team. For me, it’s still understanding there’s things that I can work on at practice and get better at, so I still focus on myself and what I can do. But the reality is, people’s jobs are on the line, and we have to win games, otherwise, people’s families are affected. This is the ultimate team game.”

He’ll get another chance to win a game, though victories have been in short supply for the Vikings this season. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 29 for their only win of the season so far, and they’ve been outscored 58-17 since then.

34 comments
wofman
wofman

Vikings have no chance to cover with spread with Freeman.

Tom_Weiland
Tom_Weiland

I thought Freeman did an excellent job... for a MN Viking! 

Michael223
Michael223

The Vikings season is as dead as Adrian Petersons career and  kid

PWINGS
PWINGS

To me, this whole fiasco begs an even larger question than who the Vikings starting QB should be or who their next head coach should be. The real questions that I have are: "What does this tell us about the owners of the Vikings?" Are they competent? Now that they have an agreement and commitment for their new stadium, are they going to blow up the team, slash payroll and just concentrate on making money by minimizing cost regardless of how it affects team performance? Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder, Mike Brown and the Davises are all standard bearers for owners who over-manage their teams to the team's detriment. Is it time to add Zygi Wilf's name to that list (along with Woody Johnson's, of course)?

InternetDenizen
InternetDenizen

Josh Freeman sucks so bad, James Dyson called him hoping he could make a better vacuuum.

Josh Freeman sucks so bad, Sasha Grey is hoping to pick up some pointers.

Josh Freeman sucks sooooo much, Albert Einstein has revamped his thinking on black holes.

Josh Freeman sucks so hard, even the future king of England couldn't pull Excalibur out of his butt.

Josh Freeman sucks so much, Italy wants to use him to clean out the Costa Concordia.

Josh Freeman sucks so hard, BP wants to use him to help clean up the gulf.

If you are still not sure on my message, go to your nearest airport, stand in front of the revving engine of a 747, and prepare to get Freeman'd.

closetjaysfan
closetjaysfan

Freeman's "injury" reminds me of michael johnsons "leg injury" in that 150m race against Donovan Bailey.

joegadow
joegadow

As a Green Bay / Aaron Rodgers fan I can' t wait for this weeks S.N.Football. Go Pack Go!!!

j7apple
j7apple

Desperate teams make desperate decisions.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

Did the Vikings management not watch tapes of Freeman when he played for Tampa? Freeman has played like he has been concussed for the last 3 years.  During the 2011 and 2012 seasons Freeman led the NFL in turnovers (INT's and fumbles). He completed less than 50% of his passes this year and has the 33rd worst QBR in a 32 team league. Who is running the Vikes, the 3 stooges?

Steve821
Steve821

I've been a lifelong Viking fan and I can say in all honesty this is absolutely the lowest rung on the ladder. The acquisition of Freeman was baffling in and of itself but what's unfolded since then has really demonstrated that the Vikings organization has absolutely no clue what it's doing and, at present, is not a professional NFL team. Time to blow it up and start all over. 

Bucky182
Bucky182

Has the circus left the Meadowlands and made its way to Winter Park?


What do you want to bet none of these quarterbacks are on next year's roster? Throw Frazier into that mix, too.

riley8
riley8

Translation:  Ponder sucks.  Freeman sucks worse.

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

"Concussion like symptoms" after Frazier or one of his stooges smacked Freeman in the back of the head. There is no way this QB mash-up ends well for any of the parties.

Marty2
Marty2

Too bad for the Vikings.  They need to see if Freeman can be their QB going into next year.  They need to know if they should go all out to draft a QB.  Actually, it would better if the team would suck it up, write this season off, and look forward to drafting a possible long-term QB.

Tom_Weiland
Tom_Weiland

The Vikings are like a comedy act.  Why don't they just throw all the QB names into a hat, and the one they pick for that week gets to start.  Would it REALLY make any difference?

twrdh
twrdh

Or maybe someone actually decided to watch game film this week and noticed Freeman is nowhere near ready to start and for Frazier to save face after already naming him starter this week they came up with a B.S. concussion story so they could back out of starting him.

jamsub
jamsub

Maybe the article was in error cause I am pretty sure Freeman hung every receiver out to dry with his 10 foot high passes. Maybe he caused concussion like symptoms in his receiving corps. Still waiting to hear that Jennings has cracked ribs or something.

TampaThunder
TampaThunder

Josh Freeman has been displaying concussion like symptoms for a couple of years now.

InternetDenizen
InternetDenizen

@Michael223 Wow. aren't you clever. I hope karma takes an extra special long look at you. And spends it's time making sure it's boomerang hits home especially well.

PWINGS
PWINGS

Hint: If they trade Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Chad Greenway (especially Peterson), we'll have an answer.

InternetDenizen
InternetDenizen

Anyone who thinks Josh Freeman is a starter quality QB in the NFL needs to be laughed out of their respective Fantasy Football leagues, local sports bars, and any man club they belong too.

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

@HarshRealities - Well except for those pesky years where he played extremely well.  I realize those don't fit into your neat little diatribe - I mean, facts always get in the way, don't they? 

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

@Steve821 Nope, you're wrong.  It was a shrewd calculated move.  Trying out Freeman for $3 mil hurts nothing.  And guess what?  Teams have losing seasons.  Get over it.  They'll improve eventually.  Stop worrying about it so much  and just enjoy the sport.   People who tie themselves to professional sports teams so much scare me.  Get a life!

riley8
riley8

@Steve821 I think they did, in fact, blow it up.  Would it amaze anyone if AP ends up in another uni in the near future?

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

@riley8 - Actually you need to reverse that.  Ponder is gawd-awful - at least Freeman has had some great years.  Ponder never has, ever.  Get a clue.

Beer Drinker
Beer Drinker

@Marty2 Let me answer that for ya Marty, they need to draft a QB. There is no way Freeman is their starting QB next unless they are trying to suck so bad Minnesota SENDS them to LA.

Keats1821
Keats1821

My thoughts exactly. Those aren't concussion-like symptoms, guys, that's how he always is.

Marty2
Marty2

@Beer Drinker @Marty2 They seemed to show enough confidence in signing him; I think the money they paid him indicates they still believe in him.  I'm a Lions fan, we've made so many mistakes - find out what we've done the last 30 years and basically do just the opposite.

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

@Marty2 @Beer Drinker This was an end of season deal. This means they didn't "believe in him" but rather they felt their current situation was so abysmal they thought they'd take a flyer on Freeman with a low risk option. Freeman stunk so now it's time to fake an injury and try to make up with Ponder.