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Continued: Turns out, Ponder's benching as Vikings starter was temporary

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 21, 2013 - 12:31 AM

If Freeman is upset in any way about not playing, he’s turning in a Tom Hanks-like performance in acting completely unruffled by it all.

“I’m just working,” Freeman said. “It’s been great. I’ve just been focusing on football. I’ve had a chance to really [focus]. There are no distractions, no anything. You just get to sit and focus. I get my beats bumping in the QB room, just sitting there and jamming and watch tape and take notes. It’s great.”

Ponder, meanwhile, said he wasn’t surprised to learn he was going to make his fifth consecutive start. Of course, at this point, what could possibly surprise a guy who has spent the past 11 weeks breaking a rib, separating a shoulder, being benched twice and brought back twice?

Sunday was Ponder’s first in-game benching of the season. After a 122.0 first-half passer rating, he collapsed in the second half. He threw interceptions on back-to-back possessions, including a pick-six that earned him a seat.

“Just bad decisions,” said Ponder, who has 13 turnovers this season. “Just trying to make plays towards the end. We were down, trying to have that fourth-quarter comeback and just forced some things that weren’t there. … Now, it’s time to forget it and move forward, and we’ve done that.”

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