Christian Ponder will return to Minnesota this weekend as a member of the Raiders. And the former Vikings first-round pick doesn’t expect to receive a warm reception when he runs out onto the field at TCF Bank Stadium.
“Oh, I’m going to get booed,” Ponder told Bay Area News Group. “I’m trying to figure out, we were talking about it in the quarterback room, what I should do when I get out on the field? Should I take a bow, or what? What’s going to happen? I’m expecting some boos, but it’s all fun though.”
Ponder didn’t live up to expectations here in Minnesota after the Vikings drafted him to be their quarterback of the future in 2011.
Ponder performed well enough in his second NFL season, throwing 18 touchdown passes and rushing for two others, to help the Vikings get into the playoffs. But in his four years here, Ponder averaged just 6.4 yards per attempt and had more turnovers than touchdowns.
His final Vikings start, in 2014, was a disaster. Filling in after Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater both got injured, he threw a pair of picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in a blowout loss to the Packers.
Ponder joined the Raiders this offseason and is battling Matt McGloin to be the primary backup to starter Derek Carr, who is in his second season.
Ponder said he will try his best to tune out any boos Saturday night.
“I’m going to enjoy what I’m doing whether fans are cheering or booing,” Ponder said. “If it doesn’t happen, great, if it does happen, I’m prepared.”