It's the question that's not going to go away. Not with the Vikings winless and four games behind two division opponents just four weeks into the season.

When will the Vikings do the inevitable and start Christian Ponder?

At home against a 1-3 Cardinals team sounds about right, eh?

This isn't meant to blame Donovan McNabb for the 0-4 start. He hasn't played well, but, my goodness, how could we have expected much more considering this offense was thrown together on the fly after a 4 1/2-month lockout?

McNabb is 17th in the NFL in passer rating with a decent 80.9. His completion percentage (58.6) is the worst among players in the top 20 for passer rating. His third-down passer rating is 28th at 54.6.

Yeah, the Vikings could use a spark, and quarterback probably is the only position where they have someone who could provide that spark. But this has become more about 2012 than 2011. Every week that McNabb -- a one-year stopgap resident on the roster -- starts is another week of lost opportunity for the hand-picked first-round draft pick to gain the only experience that matters -- game experience.

Coach Leslie Frazier said after Sunday's 22-17 loss in Kansas City that he's not planning a change at quarterback. But he didn't sound as committed as he did the week before when he said, "We're not in a situation -- I don't think -- where we would make a quarterback change."

Again, it's not a slam against McNabb to suggest it's time for Ponder to start. At this point, there just doesn't seem to be any point in going forward with a quarterback who isn't going to be here next season.