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 to miss all of practice today

Posted by: Mark Craig under Injury report, Vikings, Lions, NFC, Leslie Frazier, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Leslie Frazier, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: December 7, 2011 - 12:30 PM

Christian Ponder's hip is stiffer today than the Vikings had expected, so the rookie quarterback won't be participating in practice at all today. Backup Joe Webb will take the first team reps, although the Vikings still do anticipate Ponder making his seventh NFL start on Sunday.

"All indications are [he will play]," coach Leslie Frazier said today. "A lot of it depends on what happens between now and Thursday, whether or not he improves, as at least our trainers expect him to."

Asked if he was concerned he wouldn't be able to play, Ponder said, "I'm not too concerned. I've been working ever since the game ended on Sunday with Eric Sugarman, our head [athletic] trainer. He's done a great job. There's been a lot of progress since it first happened. Monday, I was sore. Yesterday, I was sore. But today I feel better. So a big shout-out to Sugs for helping me out."

Ponder said he suffered the hip pointer -- the first one he's ever had -- when he took a direct shot from the helmet of a Broncos defender early in the first quarter.

"It is stiff," Ponder said. "It's your hip, but there's so much swelling everywhere. Everything that's attached to the hip is sore as well. It's not fun."

Although he's never had a hip pointer, Ponder said he's had experience playing after not practicing during the week. He said he had a rib injury at Florida State that caused him to miss all but the walkthrough the day before a game.

As for this week, Ponder said he should be able to get by without practicing that much.

"I"m going to do everything I can," Ponder said. "I don't know how much I'm going to be practicing this week. I'm going to try to be out there. Coach Frazier said I'm not going today, so I guess I'm not going today. But I'm going to try to be out there as soon as possible. When I'm not out there, I'm going to be taking mental reps and doing everything I can to prepare. I'm going to be watching a lot of film and everything.

"The good thing about [the Lions] is they're not too complicated on defense. They have great guys, great personnel, but they don't do anything too complicated. They don't do a lot of disguises, so I think it's kind of the perfect week to just watch film and not try to do anything too physical."

In other injury news, Frazier said:

  • RB Adrian Peterson (ankle) will be limited in practice, if he practices at all.
  • DE Brian Robison hasn't completed the league-mandated third-part concussion exam and will not be able to practice today. Frazier said it's too early to tell whether Robison would be a candidate for injured reserve.
  • CB Asher Allen is expected to return after missing last week's game because of a shoulder injury.
  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe will be limited because of a hand injury.

We'll give an update once practice has ended and the injury report has been issued.

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