Day at Camp: Ponder still wobbly in opening workouts in Mankato

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2013 - 11:55 AM
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Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) looked to handoff during the morning practice on Monday.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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A daily dispatch from Mankato.

Practice snapshot

Yes, it’s tough to judge completion statistics when it’s the third day of training camp and the first day in full pads since January. However …

It’s safe to say starting Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder remains consistently inconsistent. In Monday’s 11-on-11 competition, he completed four of 12 passes.

Pressure was a contributing factor. Although there was no contact on the quarterback, the action at the line of scrimmage was live.

Ponder was “sacked” twice, had one pass batted down at the line and threw another ball away because of pressure. He also had one drop by rookie free-agent fullback Zach Line, subbing for Jerome Felton, who missed part of practice because of a personal matter. Ponder also had a deep ball to Jerome Simpson come down about four yards out of bounds.

Cassel to Burton a highlight

Meanwhile, Ponder’s backup, Matt Cassel, completed eight of 11 passes during 11-on-11 competition. He also had one drop. Stephen Burton, a receiver on the bubble, was the player of the day. He caught two deep balls, one in fairly tight coverage and the other against a blown coverage. His third catch came at the goal line, when he held on for a touchdown despite taking a hard hit to the back.

From the podium

Frazier was asked if 199-pound cornerback Josh Robinson had been asked to gain weight because he is replacing Antoine Winfield at the nickel slot position. For nine years with the Vikings, Winfield was one of the league’s best tacklers and a physical force in the slot. But Winfield also was only 185 pounds. “No, [Robinson’s] weight is fine,” Frazier said. “[Playing the slot] is more about instincts and awareness than it is about weight gain and strength gain.”

Camp Chatter

“When I say I’m working for the Feds today, it means I’m miked up.”

– Safety Jamarca Sanford, who has to be careful what he says when he wears a wire while being miked up for vikings.com, which he was on Monday.

Injury report

• WR Greg Childs (knees) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

• LB Nathan Williams (ankle) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

• NT Letroy Guion injured his elbow late in Saturday’s practice but practiced on Monday.

Schedule: Three days out

Tuesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.

Wednesday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.

Thursday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walkthrough; 2:30-4:45 p.m. full pads.

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