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.


BREAKING: Christian Ponder inactive for tonight's playoff game in Green Bay

Posted by: under Injury report, Vikings, Packers Updated: January 5, 2013 - 5:34 PM

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder will not play in tonight’s playoff game against the Packers, officially declared inactive due to trouble with his right elbow. Ponder banged the elbow of his throwing arm hard on a defender’s helmet in the first half of last week’s home win over Green Bay and the injury gradually got worse after that game finished.

Ponder was limited in practice this week and was officially listed on the injury report Friday as questionable. The Vikings had hoped he would be able to battle through the pain and even took Ponder to the stadium early Saturday afternoon with fellow quarterback Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson to test the elbow out.

Ultimately, it appears, the stiffness and pain in Ponder’s elbow was too much, meaning Webb will be the starter in the Vikings’ first playoff game in nearly three years.

As if anything else matters, the Vikings' other inactives tonight are: Tyrone McKenzie, Stephen Burton, Troy Kropog, D'Aundre Reed, Brandon Burton and George Johnson.

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