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Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7)

Carlos Gonzalez, Dml - Star Tribune

Injury to limit Ponder in practice

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • December 6, 2011 - 7:01 AM

Vikings backup quarterback Joe Webb will get reps with the first-team offense on Wednesday as rookie starter Christian Ponder practices only a limited basis because of a hip pointer suffered early in Sunday's 35-32 loss to the Broncos.

Sage Rosenfels, who was signed on Friday to be the team's No. 3 quarterback, wouldn't be a candidate to start at Detroit, said coach Leslie Frazier, who is hopeful Ponder will be able to make his seventh career start on Sunday.

"It's a hip pointer," Frazier said. "He's a guy that has relied on his mobility at times, and [hip pointers] can be a little tricky. But trainers are telling me that he should be fine. He's going to take a few days, but he should be fine by the time we get ready to line up on Sunday."

Turnovers tell a story

There's no question Ponder is the more prolific passer when compared to Denver's Tim Tebow. But here are some stats that favor Tebow significantly over the past five games:

Turnovers: Tebow one in 141 touches; Ponder eight in 181 touches (167 passes, 14 runs), including three on Sunday that cost his team at least 13 points. Of course, Tebow is 5-0 during that stretch, while Ponder is 1-4.

The Vikings, however, remain, according to Frazier, "encouraged" by Ponder's play as he learns things the hard way during what's become the worst start in franchise history.

"You do have to put in perspective that he is a rookie in the National Football League, and believing that some of the things that are happening to him right now will be lesser a year from now and even two years from now," Frazier said. "You're going to live with some things that are happening right now. ... You let him go out there and play and continue to play and let him to continue to learn from some of those mistakes and we should be better for it in the future.

"Eventually, he's going to take us down for a game-winning drive. That's going to happen, but we have to go through some things but that day is going to come."

Frazier deals with 2-10

It's something no other Vikings coach has ever been asked: "How are you handling being 2-10 personally?"

Here's part of Frazier's answer: "You have to keep reminding yourself -- and I was talking to my coaches about this -- it is a journey. It's a part of what we have to go through to get to where we want eventually. I don't foresee us forever being in this situation, there are some things that we are all learning, from what we are experiencing, and I really believe that we will look back on it in time and say OK, this is what happened in 2011 and this is why we are better in 2012, because of what happened in 2011.

"It's our first year together as a staff, first year together as a team, and we have some things that we have to get corrected, but you can see some light beginning to shine. I think our young quarterback, even though he has made some mistakes, he gives you some hope in some areas."

Etc.

• The biggest benefit of a 2-10 record is the Vikings currently sit No. 3 in next year's draft pecking order. Indianapolis (0-12) is No. 1. The Vikings and Rams both are 2-10. The tiebreaker is strength of schedule. The Vikings currently have the stronger strength of schedule, but that will change weekly through the end of the season.

• Owner Zygi Wilf told the Star Tribune on Sunday that Frazier definitely will be brought back in 2012. Asked if Wilf had told him that, Frazier said, "No, I'm really thinking more about Detroit than 2012. Detroit Lions."

• Linebacker Chad Greenway (hyperextended elbow) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hand) should be fine to play on Sunday. Defensive end Brian Robison (concussion) must clear the league-mandated third-party examination before being allowed to return.

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