Once again, Vikings face major quarterback question

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 19, 2013 - 10:11 AM

Christian Ponder’s sleepwalking in Seattle threw the job up for grabs.

 

Leslie Frazier stopped at Christian Ponder’s locker for a brief conversation after the Vikings 41-20 loss at Seattle on Sunday.

And what was the coach’s message?

“We just went over what he talked to you guys [media] about,” the quarterback said.

Frazier told reporters moments earlier that he wasn’t sure which of his three quarterbacks will start Sunday’s game at Green Bay. Frazier wanted to discuss the situation with his coaching staff after he removed Ponder in the fourth quarter following his third turnover of the game, an interception returned for a touchdown that gave Seattle a 38-13 lead.

Frazier still wasn’t ready to announce his starter during his Monday news conference. All three quarterbacks — Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman — are healthy enough to play, but 10 games into the season, the Vikings still are publicly uncertain how to proceed.

“Just want to talk that through a little bit and when we come back on Wednesday have a good idea,” Frazier said.

If Frazier settles on Freeman again, all three quarterbacks will have started at least two games. As a group, they are tied for 29th in the NFL with only 10 touchdown passes in 10 games. They’re also ranked 29th in passer rating at 72.5.

It’s hard to envision how Ponder can keep his job given the team’s record (2-8) and his mistakes Sunday. His two interceptions in the fourth quarter turned the game into a runaway, and he has 13 turnovers in seven starts.

Ponder described his miscues as “easily correctable,” but Frazier once again made note of Ponder’s inconsistency after a solid first half.

“You can’t win in this league playing one or two quarters,” Frazier said. “We just need all of our players to play well throughout the game, and he didn’t play as well in that fourth quarter as we needed him to. We needed more consistent play and we didn’t get it. The results of it put us in a tough spot.”

Freeman seems likely to get another chance as the starter now that he has a better grasp of the offense. He had a nightmarish debut against the New York Giants after getting only four days of practice with the first-team offense, completing only 20 of 53 passes with one interception. Fifteen of his 33 incompletions came on overthrows.

Freeman clearly was not ready to run the offense — no matter how limited the game plan — but he has had a month to digest the playbook and become more comfortable with his teammates.

Frazier was asked if there’s something he needs to see from Freeman in practice to get him back on the field.

“Not so much from Josh [but] just try and determine what’s the best thing to do based on where we are and what we’re trying to get accomplished,” Frazier said. “He’s doing everything we’re asking him to do. He’s working hard in practice, he’s preparing properly. We’ll just have to see what’s the best thing to do.”

Cassel, at 31, is viewed more as a backup than quarterback of the future. The Vikings could be in evaluation mode at this point as they search for answers to their quarterback woes.

The organization signed Freeman for more than $2 million in early October and benched Ponder the first time, presumably to evaluate Freeman in order to determine if he’s a possible long-term fit.

But Freeman has been inactive three games since his lone start as the Vikings gave Ponder a second chance. General Manager Rick Spielman said recently that the team conceivably could make a determination on Freeman’s future simply by watching him in practice, which sounds unrealistic.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 9th Inning
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 Bottom 9th Inning
Toronto 6
San Francisco 2 Top 4th Inning
Oakland 5
Cleveland 0 Top 4th Inning
Cincinnati 1
Boston College 0 Top 2nd Inning
Boston 0
Arizona State 4:10 PM
Arizona
Boston 6:00 PM
Cleveland
LA Lakers 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Sacramento 6:00 PM
New York
Houston 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Washington 7:00 PM
Chicago
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Buffalo 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Toronto 6:30 PM
Florida
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Minnesota
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 6:00 PM
Alabama
Eastern Mich 6:00 PM
Ball State
Kent State 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Georgetown 6:00 PM
Butler
Toledo 6:00 PM
Central Mich
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Dayton
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
North Carolina 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Holy Cross
Iowa 6:00 PM
Indiana
Akron 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Army 6:00 PM
Navy
Maryland 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Stetson 6:30 PM
North Florida
Wright State 7:00 PM
Ill-Chicago
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 29 2nd Half 3:42
Presbyterian 40
Coastal Carolina 5:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
NJIT 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Texas
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
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 NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close