Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said quarterback Christian Ponder is his only injury concern from the Vikings’ 34-27 victory over the Redskins on Thursday.
Ponder dislocated his left (non-throwing) shoulder late in the third quarter and did not return. Frazier didn’t have an update on Ponder’s injury, but he will get an extra few days to rest because of the long week leading up to next Sunday’s contest at Seattle. Frazier said he’d like to get Ponder on the field by Thursday or Friday if he is going to play against the Seahawks.
“You’d like for him to get some work with a new game plan, new style we’ll be playing against,” Frazier said.
Frazier said Ponder received a magnetic resonance imaging exam Friday and it showed a standard dislocation.
“We know exactly what’s going on, now it’s a matter of how fast he heals and how much strength he gains in the next few days,” Frazier said.
Frazier did not say who would start if Ponder couldn’t play. Ponder completed 17 of 21 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Redskins. He also scrambled two times for 13 yards. The injury occurred when Ponder collided with Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall near the left pylon on a 15-yard scramble.
Matt Cassel replaced Ponder with 1 minute, 12 seconds left in the third quarter and the ball at the 1-yard line. The Vikings outscored the Redskins 13-0 after that point and Cassel went 4-for-6 for 47 yards.
“It just shows you the resiliency of our players,” Frazier said, “All the things that we talk about, being a smart, tough, disciplined football team, I think that showed up during course of that game.”
Two safeties excel
With a lengthy injury report list before Thursday’s game, the Vikings needed a number of special teams players to step up and contribute on defense, which Frazier felt they did.
“Very, very difficult, but we got through it,” Frazier said. “Our guys, they made it. They did a good job, didn’t make any excuses. Their attitudes were terrific, but it puts some pressure on your special teams as well as your offense and defense when you’re that thin.”
Frazier singled out safeties Andrew Sendejo and Robert Blanton. Sendejo played all 79 plays on defense and also had eight reps on special teams. He tied with linebacker Chad Greenway for a team-high 16 tackles.
“We re-signed him to come in and help us on special teams, not so much as a safety, but some of the things he did at safety along with his work on special teams, that was impressive,” Frazier said.
Blanton had 39 reps on defense as Mistral Raymond’s backup, but he also had another 29 reps on special teams. He was sixth on the team with six tackles and had one special teams assist.
“He did a good job playing the safety position yesterday along with his duties at special teams, which puts more pressure on our special teams when your core special teams players are all of a sudden the starters for you,” Frazier said.
Webb fills hole
Right tackle Phil Loadholt still hadn’t passed the concussion protocol as of Friday afternoon, Frazier said. He was still going through tests and scheduled to get another observation later in the day.
Loadholt missed Thursday’s game because of concussion-like symptoms he suffered against the Cowboys last week. Frazier said he believed J’Marcus Webb, who started in place of Loadholt, played well. He was on the field for all 52 offensive plays.
“His first start with us, he did well in run-blocking,” Frazier said. “When he had chance to be one-on-one with their [defensive] ends, primarily Ryan Carrington, he did a terrific job throughout the game. Really pleased with his performance.”