Our snapshot look as the Vikings prepare for Sunday’s game at Seattle:
NEWS OF THE DAY: Ponder on pace to start
Leslie Frazier was careful not to officially declare Christian Ponder his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game at Seattle, but the Vikings coach did admit that’s the likely scenario, barring an unforeseen setback in Ponder’s progress from a separated left [non-throwing] shoulder suffered Nov. 7 against Washington.
“Christian is better,” said Frazier, who listed Ponder as probable on Friday’s official injury report. “We gave him a little bit more today in practice, so that was encouraging.”
Ponder said the shoulder feels good and that he’s looking forward to building upon the Washington game, his best outing and only victory of the season.
“This is another opportunity against a great team who I honestly [played poorly] against last year,” Ponder said. “It’ll be fun.”
A year ago, Ponder had one of his worst games of the season at Seattle. He completed 11 of 22 passes for 63 yards, no touchdowns, an interception and a 37.3 passer rating.
This year, the Seahawks are an NFC-best 9-1 and are 12-point favorites against the 2-7 Vikings.
“It’s always fun to play in games like this, when everyone counts you out,” Ponder said.
Frazier wouldn’t say who his backup quarterback will be, but it’s expected to be Matt Cassel.
KEEP AN EYE ON: Frazier fired up?
Frazier was surprised to hear that KFAN FM 100.3 was reporting Friday morning that he became especially animated while trying to fire up both sides of the ball during Thursday’s padded practice.
“How would KFAN know about that?” Frazier said with a smile. “It’s just things that happen in practice that you’re dealing with. Just doing what we do.”
Frazier also said what he did on Thursday wasn’t unusual.
“That’s why I’m wondering why it was even reported,” he said. “I don’t think I did anything out of character, anything that I have done in the past.”
SEATTLE TIES: About that Taylor Swift concert …
Pete Carroll, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Heath Farwell, Darrell Bevell ... The Winter Park West Seahawks certainly have their connections to Minnesota. Just ask Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, who years ago spent an interesting evening with Bevell, Seattle’s current offensive coordinator and former Vikings offensive coordinator.
“We went to a Taylor Swift concert together, which was awkward,” Allen said. “I thought I was at a Hannah Montana concert for a while. My wife and I were like, do you think we need to leave? There was like spirit fingers and choreographed dances. I was in the wrong place.”
Allen wasn’t joking.
“[Bevell’s] kids wanted to go,” he said. “I knew someone’s road manager. I’m a huge country music fan. When Taylor first came out, I liked her music. But I had never been to her concert. I was assuming it was going to be a normal concert. It was a like tween concert. I’m like, what is going on?”
CHANGING PLANS? Guion out; K-Will at nose again?
Frazier said early in the week that veteran three-technique defensive tackle Kevin Williams wouldn’t start on the nose. But that was based on Frazier’s belief that starting nose tackle Letroy Guion would return after missing a game because of chest and knee injuries. Well, Guion was listed as out on Friday. And backup nose tackle Fred Evans, who has missed the past two games, was listed as questionable because of a knee injury.
“We’ll have to rethink that,” Frazier said of Williams starting on the nose.
Williams started there last week against the Redskins and had 2 ½ sacks in his best game in years. Whether or not he starts there, he’ll still get some reps at nose on Sunday.
NO WORRIES: Peterson OK, Simpson to play
Running back Adrian Peterson, who has a groin injury, was held out of practice for the second consecutive day on Friday. But he’s listed as probable.
“No concerns,” Frazier said.
“It’s more managing him. Not wanting to overextend him.”
Meanwhile, in Seattle, Harvin also is listed as probable. He has yet to make his Seahawks debut because of hip surgery.
“I won’t say what I can and can’t do,” Harvin said. “I would just say it would be crazy for me to think I can go out there and play the amount of plays I was able to play before. I’m able to do some of the things, but it’s still all day-to-day.”
As far as being rusty, Harvin said: “I’m not worrying about it. It’s to be expected. I haven’t played a game in a year. ... But I have a lot of confidence in this coaching staff getting me ready to play.”