Vikings coach Leslie Frazier addressed his quarterback situation today and his plans remain as vague and confusing as they were immediately after Sunday's 34-27 victory against the Steelers in London.
Frazier said Christian Ponder (fractured rib) remains the starter, if healthy. But Frazier also left the door open for Matt Cassel to remain the starter for the Carolina game after the bye after he played well in relief on Ponder.
"Christian is still injured, but he's our starting quarterback," Frazier said. "We'll see how he does coming out of the bye."
Frazier was then asked if Ponder is healthy does he remain he starter?
"We'll talk about a lot of things when we get to next week," Frazier said. 'We'll see what happens when we get to next week."
Frazier was asked if he's worried about fan reaction inside the Metrodome next week if Ponder is the starter.
"I don't think our fans would be upset," Frazier said. "They just want the Vikings to win. We've got great fans. They want the best for our football team. They've been so supportive throughout, I would expect our fans to be cheering for everybody that's wearing purple when we get back home."
Frazier acknowledged that the offense functioned efficiently with Cassel at the controls. Asked how much that had to do with Cassel's presence, Frazier said, "I think a lot of it had to do with Matt. Getting the ball out on time, being able to get us out of runs and execute when we had some eight-man fronts in the passing game. I think a lot of it had to do with his execution as a quarterback."
That led to a natural follow-up question: Then why not stick with him as the starter?
"We'll talk about a lot of things [but] it's more than one ball game," Frazier said. "He did a good job. I don't want to take anything away from what Matt did. We'll try and do what's best for our team and if we thought that Matt gave us the best chance to beat Carolina, then we'd approach that situation as well. But if Christian is healthy, we'll take a look at what we need yo do."
The Vikings rank last in the NFL in pass defense and have issues at cornerback. I asked Frazier if the team is considering bringing Antoine Winfield back or at least work him out to see if he's healthy enough to rejoin the team.
"We've talked about a lot of things," Frazier said. "We've got a little beaten up in the secondary. We knew going in we'd have some new guys playing some positions where there would be some growing pains along the way and we're experiencing some of that. But we've got to keep bringing them along and keep hoping that they'll improve, which they are. They are improving in some areas. This bye week should help us but we've talked about a lot of things and ways that we can try and help our secondary."