Ponder disappointed with Vikings' twist of fate

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 11, 2013 - 2:30 PM

The QB has been cleared to play, but he suggests he isn’t getting his top job back.

 

Christian Ponder said he has been medically cleared to play Sunday and that the Vikings coaching staff has informed him and the other quarterbacks who will start against Carolina.

Ponder deferred to coach Leslie Frazier to reveal that information, but it wasn’t difficult to discern that Matt Cassel will make his second start in a row with Ponder serving as his backup.

Ponder’s disappointment was evident Thursday when asked about everything that’s happened the past 10 days.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say it’s a little disappointing and frustrating,” Ponder said after practice. “But I’m not going to get too discouraged about it. 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.”

A few minutes later, Frazier said he hasn’t made a decision on his starter and that he plans to do so Friday. Frazier was told that Ponder disclosed that he knows the plan and that his body language and tone indicated that he’s not the starter.

“It’s not an open competition, but I want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing,” Frazier said. “When we go through practice [Friday], see where those guys are and just try to do the best thing for our team.”

The mixed message was another odd development in a strange week at Winter Park. Frazier initially said that Ponder is the starter if healthy, but the Vikings signed free agent Josh Freeman and will keep Cassel as the starter for at least one more game.

Ponder missed the Pittsburgh game in London after suffering a fractured rib the previous week. He said he is still experiencing some “stiffness and a little bit of pain” but that he’s “definitely” healthy enough to play. Even so, Cassel worked with the first-team offense in practice this week.

Cassel did not throw an incompletion in 10 second-half attempts against the Steelers and passed for 248 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Vikings to their first victory.

Meanwhile, Freeman is getting a crash course on the team’s offense and presumably will take over once he’s comfortable with the system.

The organization’s actions this week — regardless of what is said publicly — indicate that Ponder’s tenure appears to be nearing its end. Even Ponder acknowledged that “some of the dynamics of this organization have changed” with Freeman’s arrival.

“It’s a waste of energy and thought to think about what could happen and what might not happen,” Ponder said. “I’m just trying to enjoy these moments because life in the NFL doesn’t last long. You’ve 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.”

The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29, but Ponder said a trade “would be difficult to deal with.” Ponder said he has had some conversations with Frazier and Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman about his future, but he maintained that he is focused only on things he can control.

“I spent a little time worrying about it and realized that that’s no good and it’s not going to help me out,” he said. “So my focus is what I can control and that’s getting healthy, which I have been doing, and getting better on the football field, which I feel like I’ve been doing.”

The Vikings drafted Ponder 12th overall in 2011 with the hope that he would become their long-term quarterback. Now he’s no longer the starter and his future with the team seems uncertain.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” Ponder said. “I hope to still be here. It’s the front office’s call. You never know — as we’ve seen the past week — what’s going to happen.”

  • related content

  • Video: Access Vikings: Time for Chris Cook to step up

    Thursday October 10, 2013

    The Vikings returned from their bye week with another quarterback and in better health, notably in the secondary.

  • Vikings notes: Allen happy for Robison

    Friday October 11, 2013

    Jared Allen, who is not currently negotiating with the Vikings, said of Brian Robison's new contract, “Good for him. I’m happy. I hope everybody in the league gets paid."

  • American Indians bring fight over Redskins name to Metrodome

    Friday October 11, 2013

    An American Indian coalition says Minnesota is ground zero for eradicating the NFL logo and mascot they consider defamatory.

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder

  • Christian Ponder has gotten medical clearance to play in a game, but it appears he will have to settle for the backup job.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 3:00 PM
San Jose
Boston 6:00 PM
Toronto
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Montreal
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Texas 21 4th Qtr 7:40
Rice 34
Maryland 6 4th Qtr 0:57
Wisconsin 52
Minnesota 24 4th Qtr 1:30
Illinois 28
North Carolina 21 4th Qtr 13:18
Virginia 27
San Jose St 17 3rd Qtr 10:20
Navy 24
Northern Ill 14 3rd Qtr 3:45
Eastern Mich 10
(25) UCLA 17 2nd Qtr 7:35
Colorado 0
Akron 21 2nd Qtr 3:58
Ball State 6
Massachusetts 20 2nd Qtr 4:47
Toledo 14
Ohio U 7 2nd Qtr 7:04
Western Mich 21
Ga Southern 20 2nd Qtr 8:14
Georgia State 17
Kent State 0 2nd Qtr
Miami-Ohio 7
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 1st Half 30:00
Seattle 0
D.C. 3:00 PM
Montreal
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close