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Ponder likely to start; Freeman has concussion symptoms

  • Blog Post by: Mark Craig
  • October 23, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Christian Ponder is back.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said today that Ponder will probably start at quarterback on Sunday night against the Packers because Josh Freeman has concussion-like symptoms.

Freeman made his first start for the Vikings on Sunday in an ugly 23-7 loss to the New York Giants.

Ponder will work with the first team offense today.  Because of the short work week, it's unlikely Freeman would have time to prepare if he gets cleared with concussion tests.  The earliest he could practice would probably be Saturday.

Freeman reported to Winter Park on Tuesday with the symptoms. Frazier said Freeman was affected by a third-quarter hit Monday night, but was checked out on the sideline and appeared OK.

Ponder was demoted last week, when he became Freeman's backup. Frazier said Ponder took the news professionally at that time, and Frazier said he was confident the team would be fully supportive of Ponder on Sunday.

Ponder started the first three games of the season, all losses, before a rib injury sidelined him Week 4.  Matt Cassel led the Vikings to the victory in London against Pittsburgh.  The Vikings picked up Freeman, who had been released by Tampa Bay, in their bye week. Cassel started in a loss at Carolina before Freeman was named the starter despite having only four full practices.

Freeman was 20-for-53 against the Giants for 190 yards and a 40.6 quarterback ranking.  On Tuesday, Frazier said Freeman would remain the starter, but that was before Freeman checked in at Winter Park.

Freeman was scheduled to have a media briefing, but it was canceled.

Injury update: Frazier said fullback/tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) would not practice today.

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