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.


Matt Cassel named Vikings' starting quarterback

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 4, 2013 - 2:02 PM

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will start on Sunday against the Ravens. Head coach Leslie Frazier said Christian Ponder hasn't passed the concussion protocol. He's still dealing with some symptoms. 

"There are some things that, at this stage, [Ponder] has to get done that he wasn't able to get done today," Frazier said of Ponder's concussion tests.

The team will proceed with Josh Freeman as the backup, Frazier said.

Cassel led the team in a 23-20 overtime win over the Bears after Ponder left the game before halftime with the concussion. Cassel went 20-33 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

"What he did in the second half of that ballgame on Sunday, and also, seeing his comfort level with where we are, and having a comfort level with him, as well," Frazier said of starting Cassel over Freeman. "But his work on Sunday has a lot to do with it. He did an outstanding job in the second half of that ballgame against Chicago."

Cassel said he's approaching this development with a "one-week season" mentality. 

"If you start looking ahead, looking for the future, the what-ifs and putting added pressure on yourself, it’s as difficult as it can possibly be every Sunsday because there’s always good opponents," Cassel said. "But my focus is always on this opponent, this game, and we’ll worry about the future later.”

 
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