Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Ponder definite starter for Vikings on Sunday

Posted by: Chris Miller under Injury report, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Vikings injury report, Adrian Peterson, Leslie Frazier Updated: 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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