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 knows decision, Frazier waits to announce

Posted by: Chip Scoggins under Vikings offense, Vikings players, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: October 10, 2013 - 4:20 PM

Christian Ponder told reporters after Thursday's practice that he's been medically cleared to play and that he's been told the decision by the coaching staff, although he deferred to Coach Leslie Frazier to deliver that news.

It wasn't hard to read between the lines that Matt Cassel will start Sunday against Carolina with Ponder serving as the backup.

"I’ll let Coach Frazier address that," Ponder said. I don’t know when he’s going to do it. But in regards to today, we split some reps and then it’s Coach Frazier’s call."

A few minutes later, Frazier told reporters that he wants to wait until after Friday's practice before choosing his starting quarterback.

Frazier was told that Ponder revealed that he's already been told and that his body language and tone made it clear he wasn't the starter.

"I think you'd have to go by what you think," Frazier said. "I don't want to read into what he said. I wasn't here when he said it. I want to see how they do tomorrow. That will help me clear up some things."

Ponder noted that "some of the dynamics of this organization have changed" this week with the arrival of Josh Freeman, who presumably will take over as the starter as soon as he's comfortable with the offense.

"It’s a waste of energy and thought to think about what could happen and what might not happen," Ponder said in regards to his future. "I’m just trying to enjoy these moments because life in the NFL doesn’t last long, whether you have a long career for 15 years. But when you look at it in life, 15 years out of – say – 90 years is a short window, so you got to enjoy every minute of it, even when things aren’t going the best. And I’m going to see how it plays out. It’ll be interesting to see."

Asked if he would welcome a trade, Ponder said, "a trade would be difficult to deal with."

Ponder acknowledged how difficult the past two weeks have been personally.

"I would be lying if I didn’t say it’s a little disappointing and frustrating," he said. "But I’m not going to get too discouraged about it. I’m a man of faith and I know God is in control. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what the next few weeks, few months hold. We’ll see how everything plays out. But I’m working on a lot of things during practice and trying to get better as a quarterback."

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