Matt Cassel went from the Vikings starting quarterback to No. 3 on the depth chart in one week. Coach Leslie Frazier said Cassel is no longer in the mix to be starter as the team continues its quarterback carousel.
Frazier said either Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman will start Sunday at Dallas.
"You’ve got to handle it as a professional," Cassel said after practice Wednesday. "Would I like the situation to be different? Of course I would. But at the same time, I’ve been in this league long enough to understand that right now things are changing from week to week. All you can do as a teammate is not be distraction, help the guy that’s playing and do your best to try and get back out on the field somehow."
Cassel went 1-1 as a starter. He played well in leading the Vikings to their only win of the season against the Steelers in London. He threw two interceptions in the loss to Carolina the following week and was demoted to No. 3 after Freeman's signing.
Cassel was asked if he believes he's getting a fair shot given the struggles of the other two quarterbacks as well.
"Unfortunately, I don’t make the decisions," he said. "Coach Frazier and whoever is making the decisions have decided to go this direction. As a player, you might not always agree with it, but you accept it and move forward and continue to work hard. You have a choice. Any time adversity comes our way as players, we can feel sorry for ourselves and become a distraction. Or you can continue to work, be professional and do what you’re paid to do. That’s my choice."
Cassel was asked if he believes the team simply wants to evaluate the two younger quarterbacks with an eye on the future.
"I don’t really concentrate on that," he said. "I don’t look at the situation as, ‘Well, why are they doing this, why are doing that?’ If you try and answer those questions, a lot of times as a player you can get in your own head. For me, all I can control is myself. I can just continue to come out and work hard and if my opportunity comes up again, I’ll be prepared and ready to go."
Cassel said he had a "good conversation" with Frazier after Freeman's arrival moved him down the depth chart.
"I’m not going to get into specifics about what was said, but obviously we both had our opinions on it," Cassel said. "But at the end of the day, he’s the head coach. He makes the decisions. You accept that as a player and try and move forward."