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 likely to start at QB for Vikings

Posted by: Mark Craig under Leslie Frazier, Vikings injury report Updated: October 23, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Christian Ponder is back.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said today that Ponder will probably start at quarterback on Sunday night against the Packers because Josh Freeman has concussion-like symptoms.

Freeman made his first start for the Vikings on Sunday in an ugly 23-7 loss to the New York Giants.

Ponder will work with the first team offense today.  Because of the short work week, it's unlikely Freeman would have time to prepare if he gets cleared with concussion tests.  The earliest he could practice would probably be Saturday.

Freeman reported to Winter Park on Tuesday with the symptoms. Frazier said Freeman was affected by a third-quarter hit Monday night, but was checked out on the sideline and appeared OK.

Ponder was demoted last week, when he became Freeman's backup. Frazier said Ponder took the news professionally at that time, and Frazier said he was confident the team would be fully supportive of Ponder on Sunday.

Ponder started the first three games of the season, all losses, before a rib injury sidelined him Week 4.  Matt Cassel led the Vikings to the victory in London against Pittsburgh.  The Vikings picked up Freeman, who had been released by Tampa Bay, in their bye week. Cassel started in a loss at Carolina before Freeman was named the starter despite having only four full practices.

Freeman was 20-for-53 against the Giants for 190 yards and a 40.6 quarterback ranking.  On Tuesday, Frazier said Freeman would remain the starter, but that was before Freeman checked in at Winter Park.

Freeman was scheduled to have a media briefing, but it was canceled.

Injury update: Frazier said fullback/tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle) and running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) would not practice today.

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