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Ponder will start Sunday; Freeman will be inactive

  • Blog Post by: Chris Miller
  • October 25, 2013 - 1:28 PM

Josh Freeman, who had concussion-like symptoms after Monday's loss to the Giants, was cleared to practice and went through drills with the Vikings today, but Christian Ponder will be the starting quarterback on Sunday night against Green Bay.

Coach Leslie Frazier said Ponder will be backed up by Matt Cassel, and that Freeman would be inactive.

Freeman said he isn't sure which hit during Monday's game injured him, but said he felt concussion-like symptoms on Tuesday morning.

Freeman said he hadn't seen comments by TV analyst Rodney Harrison where Harrison speculated that Freeman was faking the symptoms to get out of a "bad situation in Minnesota."

Running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and receiver Rodney Smith (hip) also will be inactive.

New on the injury report is defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee), who is expected to be ready to play.

Running back Adrian Peterson (hamstring) should also be ready to go.

Frazier talked about the team's struggling running game.  According to Pro Football Focus, Peterson had 40 runs of 15 yards or longer last year.  He has only four this season, and said after the Giants game that the team needed to be "more physical."

"We are averaging a yard less (per carry) than we did last year, but it's more than just the offensive line," Frazier said. "Tight ends are a big part of our run-blocking, as are wide receivers. It's a number of things that have hurt us.  And, yes, we do need to be more physical up front."

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