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.
Even during a 2-10 disaster, it's never good when the head coach steps to the podium the day after a game and announces the most significant injury belongs to the quarterback.
Rookie Christian Ponder has a hip-pointer compliments of the beating he took during Sunday's 35-32 loss to the Broncos at Mall of America Field. Coach Leslie Frazier said the hit that caused the injury came early on, which makes sense since Ponder was seen limping very early in the game.
Ponder stayed in the game and threw for 381 yards, a franchise rookie record, but he also turned the ball over three times, leading to 10 points and costing at least another 3 because his fumble came in the red zone.
"Christian was probably the guy who was the one we're most concerned about," Frazier said. "He has a hip-pointer. We'll have to see how he progresses as the week goes on. He took a shot early in the game and was able to finish the game, but it did inhibit his movement. So we'll see how he does as the week goes on."
Frazier said Ponder would be limited in practice, if he's able to practice at all. If Ponder can't play, Frazier said Joe Webb would start. Sage Rosenfels, who was signed on Friday, doesn't know the offense well enough yet to start, Frazier said.
In other injury news:
In case anyone thought the Vikings weren't already beat up enough, add middle linebacker E.J. Henderson as a surprise addition to the wounded.
Henderson missed today's practice because of a shoulder injury. Also missing practice, as expected, was running back Adrian Peterson (ankle). And, of course, cornerback Chris Cook remains in paid exile, defending felony charges while the walls fall down around his teammates.
Limited in practice were CB Asher Allen (shoulder), RG Anthony Herrera (knee) and TE Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps). Players on the injury report who had full participation in practice were SS Jamarca Sanford (shoulder), OLB Erin Henderson (hamstring) and TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring).
If E.J. Henderson can't play, it's possible that Erin would move into the middle and Kenny Onatolu would play outside linebacker.
Adrian Peterson won't play against the Falcons on Sunday. His status on the injury report was changed from doubtful to out this morning before the team left for Atlanta.
Peterson has a high ankle sprain suffered on his left leg against the Raiders last Sunday at the Metrodome.
The Vikings also activated tight end Allen Reisner from the practice squad and waived receiver Stephen Burton to make room for Reisner.
Peterson was unable to do much in limited work off the field yesterday, and it was pretty clear that he wouldn't be able to play. Toby Gerhart will start in his place. With the Vikings at 2-8, it also didn't make much sense to put their star player in danger of a more serious injury.
Tight ends Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps) and Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) are both hurting, and Reisner likely will see some action Sunday.
Adrian Peterson took the walking boot off his high left ankle sprain, but wasn't able to practice today. Head coach Leslie Frazier wouldn't rule him out -- even though every Fantasy Football player in the universe knows by now he's not going to play.
Frazier instead listed him as doubtful. Or as Frazier put it, "very, very doubtful." This probably has less to do with gamesmanship (hey, the team is 2-8) than it does with last December when Frazier listed Brett Favre out on a Friday only to have Favre start three days later against the Bears on Monday Night Football.
Listed as out because of injuries were free safety Husain Abdullah (concussion) and right guard Anthony Herrera (knee). Listed as doubtful in addition to Peterson was tight end Kyle Rudolph, who didn't practice today because of a quadriceps injury.
Listed as questionable were: receiver Percy Harvin (ribs) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring). Shiancoe practiced for the first time all week, but was limited. Harvin also was limited.
Quarterback Christian Ponder, who was limited in practice earlier this week because of a knee injury, had full participation in today's practice. He's listed as probable and will play on Sunday, Frazier said.
The Vikings' Thanksgiving Day practice at Winter Park has concluded and once again the injury report is overflowing.
Not surprisingly, running back Adrian Peterson missed practice this morning, still dealing with the high ankle sprain he suffered Sunday against the Raiders. Tight ends Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and Kyle Rudolph (quadriceps) also sat out. So too did safety Husain Abdullah, still not cleared to return to action after suffering a concussion 10 days ago in Green Bay.
Limited participants for the Vikings this morning were guard Anthony Herrera (knee); quarterback Christian Ponder (knee); receiver Percy Harvin (ribs) and linebacker Erin Henderson (hamstring). If you're counting, that's seven of the Vikings' regular starters plus a top tier back-up who either sat out or were limited this morning.
On top of that, three other players were listed on the injury report but were able to practice in full: left tackle Charlie Johnson (Achilles' tendon); safety Jamarca Sanford (shoulder); and defensive tackle Christian Ballard (hamstring).
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