Christian Ponder says he will be ready.
The Vikings quarterback, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder in Thursday’s victory over Washington, said Monday he is optimistic he will start Sunday at Seattle.
Ponder said his non-throwing shoulder’s range of motion on Friday was “terrible.” He also felt discomfort over the weekend as he went through treatment, but saw progress Monday.
“Today it’s actually pretty good,” he said. “It’s about trying to get the strength back, trying to get the full functionality back. Range of motion isn’t completely there, but it’s pretty good.”
Ponder said he will try to practice Wednesday. He injured the shoulder late in the third quarter on a goal-line collision near the pylon with Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall.
“It’s not like hindering my throwing motion or anything,” Ponder said. “It’s just being able to take a hit or something. We don’t have fear that it’s going to get worse. It’s just going to be able to handle the pain, and if I can do it then I’ll play.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said the strength of Ponder’s shoulder will be the most important factor on whether he plays Sunday. Frazier reiterated he would like to see Ponder practice Thursday if he’s going to start.
“You don’t want to put him in harm’s way,” Frazier said. “If he can’t protect himself, you wouldn’t want to put him out there. So we’ll have a better when we come back on Wednesday and start practicing. He’s made progress, which is encouraging.”
Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford still keeps in touch with former Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin despite being separated by 1,650 miles.
The two became good friends in Minnesota. On Sunday when the Vikings play at Seattle, they’ll be on the same field again.
“It’ll be weird seeing him on the other team, but I really can’t wait,” Sanford said.
Harvin, who came off the physically unable to perform list Monday, was traded to the Seahawks for a first-round draft pick in the offseason. He is expected to make his season debut against the former team after missing 10 games because of hip surgery Aug. 1.
“No doubt in my mind; if he had any chance to be back for a game, I knew it was going to be this,” Sanford said.
Personal bragging rights will be on the line at Seattle between the Vikings’ first and final selections in the 2009 draft. Harvin was the 22nd overall pick, while Sanford was selected 209 picks later in the seventh round.
“I love going against my friends when they’re playing on the other side of the ball,” Sanford said. “I love to compete. So it’s just something we can talk about in the offseason, you know, whoever comes out on top.”
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph ditched the crutches and had a walking boot on his left foot in the locker room after Monday’s walk-through. He still expects to miss three to five more weeks after suffering a fractured foot at Dallas on Nov. 3.
“The biggest thing now is just still getting all the swelling out and letting the fracture heal,” he said. “There is nothing we can do to speed it up.”
Rudolph led the team with three touchdown catches before the injury. John Carlson replaced Rudolph on Thursday and had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.