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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Ponder reflects on dizzying rookie season

Posted by: under Vikings, Bears, NFC, Adrian Peterson Updated: January 4, 2012 - 2:01 PM

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took time out Wednesday morning to visit with Dan Patrick, providing an inside breakdown of an eye-opening rookie season. Ponder talked about a variety of topics -- from the big hits that left him dizzy this season to his endorsement of the Saints as the pick to win the NFC.

Ponder's season ended in the second quarter Sunday at Mall of America Field when a big hit from Bears defensive end Israel Idonije aggravated a hip pointer that Ponder originally suffered four weeks earlier against Denver.

The shot from Idonije came just eight days after Ponder left the Vikings' 33-26 win in Washington with a concussion. That injury came after a big hit from Redskins linebacker London Fletcher.

Battered throughout his 10-start run, Ponder said the hits added up and occassionally left him dizzy, even if Fletcher's shot was the only one that left him with a concussion.

"When you get up and you get your bell rung, if you don't have a concussion, you get up and you're dizzy for about 5 seconds," Ponder said on Patrick's radio show. "You've got maybe some stars floating in front of your face. And then they're gone and you feel fine. Then when you get a concussion that dizziness lasts a little longer."

Ponder would not take the bait when Patrick asked him to forecast the Vikings' plans with the No. 3 pick for April's draft but did say that newly appointed general manager Rick Spielman assured him that the team would not draft a quarterback.

Ponder also told Patrick he knew Adrian Peterson's knee injury was bad the instant it happened.

"I was standing like 10 yards away and I saw the whole thing happened," he said. "It was not pretty. As the guy was hitting him and wrapping around his leg, I knew it wasn't going to be good."





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