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.


Frazier: Ponder `has no reason to look over his shoulder'

Posted by: Mark Craig under Lions Updated: November 5, 2013 - 1:08 PM

The Vikings may waffle from game to game about who their starting quarterback will be. But coach Leslie Frazier never has been one to pull a quarterback during the game.

Even when he yanked Christian Ponder after a horrible start at Detroit in 2011, Frazier said it was more injury related because Ponder had been hurt the week before.

Asked today about Ponder having to play with Josh Freeman looking over his shoulder, Frazier made it seem like Ponder will finish the game no matter what.

"Christian knows from me that we want him to succeed," Frazier said. "He has no reason to look over his shoulder and say if this happens negative like an interception on Sunday against [Washington] you’re going to be pulled. Or sack-fumble in the end zone, you’re going to b pulled. He doesn’t have to worry about that. He has to worry about playing well. That’s all he has to worry about."

As for whether he starts the following week, well, that will be determined after Thursday night's game.

In other news:

  • Frazier officially ruled right tackle Phil Loadholt out because of a concussion. J'Marcus Webb will start and Kevin Murphy is a candidate to be promoted from the practice squad.
  • Tight end Kyle Rudolph's fractured foot will keep him out "four to six weeks," Frazier said.
  • CBs Xavier Rhodes (knee) and Josh Robinson (chest) "will be fine" for Thursday's game, but CB Chris Cook (hip) and SS Jamarca Sanford (groin) are to be determined by what they're able to do in today's practice.
  • Frazier was asked about the quick turnaround from playing a Cowboys team that ran the ball only nine times and threw it 51 to a Washington team that's back running the read-option with Robert Griffin III's knee closer to full strength. "To prepare for option football on a short week, it’s completely different," Frazier said. "They ran for 209 yards a week ago, not a week ago, a few days ago. Not much comparison for these styles of offenses."


 

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