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 will start for rest of season

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings coaches, Leslie Frazier, Vikings injury report, Antoine Winfield, John Sullivan, Leslie Frazier, Phil Loadholt, Steve Hutchinson, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: October 19, 2011 - 12:00 PM

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said rookie Christian Ponder will be the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the season.

The benched veteran, Donovan McNabb, will back up Ponder.

Said Ponder, who might have to scramble a bit: "I'm just going to let my instincts take over."

Frazier said the status quo wasn't getting it done, and that McNabb was classy about getting the news and intends to help Ponder, who will make his starting debut Sunday against Green Bay.

Frazier said, know what he knows now, he still wouldn't have done anything different. He would have signed McNabb and had him start the season for the Vikings.

On the injury front, cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) is expected to practice today. The offensive line is hurting -- tackle Phil Loadholt (knee) and Charlie Johnson (triceps), guard Steve Hutchinson (knee) and center John Sullivan (concussion) -- are suffering injuries of some sort.  Sullivan and Loadholt appear to be more serious, with Frazier thinking Hutchinson and Johnson should be OK to play.

We'll have more after the press conference and player access.

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