Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) stands on the sidelines before game against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Should We Be Concerned About Christian Ponder's Arm?

You probably already read about the scary incident this offseason for Christian Ponder. There is a full account of the situation over on 1500 ESPN but I will briefly summarize. The incident involved Ponder’s right arm which as we know suffered some kind of condition – an alleged triceps bruise –  that kept him from participating in the playoff game last year. Well Ponder thought everything was okay with the arm until suddenly it went haywire on him again. Ponder rushed to the hospital and was told he would need surgery. Scary scary stuff.

It was at this critical moment that Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman intervened. Sugarman told Ponder to ignore the doctors and just ice the arm. Lo and behold, the arm went back to normal and now everything is fine. And Eric Sugarman is being hailed as the man who rescued Christian Ponder from unnecessary surgery. And may have saved the entire Vikings franchise.

A feel-good story to be sure. But it has a little bit of a dark lining if you ask me. What do we make of this recurring situation with Ponder’s arm? It already caused him to miss the most important game of his pro career. And the fact is, that wasn’t the first time Ponder had similar issues. He also missed some big games in college because of his dodgy arm. We have been assured that this is not a chronic situation for Ponder. We were told the arm injury before the playoff game was just a thing that happened and did not point to a deeper problem. But here comes the arm again.

You just have to ask, what if the arm flares up again before a big game? What if Ponder is forced to miss a significant amount of time during the season becuase of this issue? The more times Ponder’s arm blows up, the harder it will be for the Vikings to downplay the significance of the issue. They can say it’s not a chronic thing but if it keeps happening? It is, by definition, a chronic thing.

I have to believe the Vikings are more concerned about this than they are letting on. Did they not sign Matt Cassel this offseason? Was that just for veteran presence behind Ponder or are they worried the arm could force Ponder out of the lineup? Is Cassel there precisely because the Vikings are worried about Ponder’s arm?

I think it’s something to keep an eye on as we go forward.

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  • Mandooooo

    I think it is just people who don’t like Ponder painting him as some wussy, chronically injured guy. I don’t know if you remember but the hit on his elbow was from Nick Collins’ helmet. This wasn’t he was throwing “too much” and it started bothering him. Or he takes too many sacks and gets hurt. He got hit in the elbow of his throwing arm by a helmet of another player coming to tackle him (obviously hard and fast) so this shit happens. I find it ridiculous people are labeling him as “injury prone”… every NFL Player (if playing hard) is injury prone. I just find it hilarious how everybody has to pick on something about Ponder. “he doesn’t air it out enough” (Well WHO pray tell will he air it out too?) And now that we’ve gotten Ponder Jennings and CP, people are now trying to build up “Well he is injury prone” (Hmm well AD tore his knee up end of 2012 and then last season he needed to get a sports hernia fixed…is HE injury prone?). I know with Luck, Wilson and RG3 coming out last year mad everybody all antsy in their pantsy, but going after Rookie QB after rookie QB every year trying to find a Wilson or Luck or RG3 isn’t going to get us any closer to a SuperBowl. I’m not sure how much more people can point to some of the Elite QB’s out there and show them stats on their first years and how badly they did and if those teams had given up it would have been a huge mistake on their part. I mean E. Manning and J. Flacco are average QB’s at best, and between the 2 of them have 3 rings. It IS NOT ALL ABOUT THE QB. You CAN have an average QB and still make it to the big show AND WIN. We are a RUN team that is strong on defense. That is who we want to be. So we don’t need the second coming of Aaron Rodgers to win.

    • Daniel Laxen

      Ponder had bursa sac issues at FSU. He missed time from it. His rookie year it also flared up a bit. It has affected his arm strength. He then injured his hip and missed time. I’m not saying he’s injury prone, but he is missing time. That’s something a young QB can ill afford to do…

      • Mandooooo

        Agreed. However to say somebody is injury prone is false. Unless they are walking into walls and getting concussions from that or falling down the stairs all of the time and breaking bones. Maybe we should have invested in some of those “crappy” o-line guys that went in the first round to block better for Ponder so he wouldn’t take a helmet to the elbow and get injured. When you play football, you get hit, hard, and sometimes those hits break something, burst something, concuss, sprain…. I just find it ridiculous, that no matter what Ponder does, there has to be somebody picking at something. I mean people act like he is JaMarcus Russel sitting on his fat butt, collecting millions and not actually trying to improve his game. It sucks that he has to be in the NFCN with Rodgers, and Stafford and Cutler. (Although stat-wise Ponder played similar to Cutler and Stafford minus the yards since Ponder had nobody catching the damn ball.) If Ponder was in the NFCE and being compared to Romo or Vick or heck even E. Manning he would look like the second coming of Rodgers. Do I want Ponder to play better, heck yah. But seriously, Rodgers got to learn from Favre while Ponder got to watch McNabb fail miserably. He had Percy holding him hostage and impeding his development (we all saw how fast he developed over the last 4 games without Percy), and now he’s going to get weapons who can run routes (Percy couldn’t hence the tosses behind the line) and catch the ball. I love my Vikes, but being a douche bag, rabid fan isn’t cool. I want Ponder to be our answer. Because if he is, then we can start winning championships. And if he isn’t… well back to the drawing board…again. We won’t be getting Johnny Football because there is no way we’re going to be drafting first next year. And aside from him IDK who else we could get as a QB? I guess we could try T-Jack again… maybe good Ole Gus can come back and help too… we’ve seen worse QB’s in our recent past… Ponder is heads and shoulders above them.

        • Daniel Laxen

          Remember Denny Green He believed that any old QB would do. Especially because Randy was unstoppable at the time…The most talented QB I’ve ever seen played a year in Minnesota along with Randy. Too bad his head and heart wasn’t in the game. Had Jeff George had any hard trying QBs mind he well could have been one of the greats. I witnessed him fumble away a playoff game at St Louis in 98 or 99? Just watched it as it lie on the ground. Instead of diving after his fumble he just stood back and let the linemen fight it out for the ball…1 or 2 plays later the Vikings were done…The Vikings style of play is going conservative and the out of doors loom on the horizon. Ponder and some targets help him immensely. Ponders pocket presence needs to improve. Slide in the pocket like Brady instead of pulling it down and rolling out eventually running for 4 yards. Leave that to AP…The linemen dig shows you still don’t understand why I said what I did…

          • Mandooooo

            The linemen dig wasn’t a dig, it was sarcasm towards you.