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Christian Ponder Broke Rib Near Heart, May Miss 4 Games

Sep 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) is hit by Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs forcing an incomplete pass during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The quarterback controversy in Minnesota may have been temporarily solved, and not in the way people were hoping. Ideally the situation would have been rectified by Christian Ponder returning to the field and sending Matt Cassel back to the bench where he belongs. But it appears that Ponder will not be ready to return to action any time in the near future, meaning Cassel will have to stay in whether Leslie Frazier likes it or not.

Judd Zulgad got the scoop on this one. He reports on Twitter that Ponder’s broken rib is near his heart and that the seriousness of the injury will likely keep the starting QB on the sidelines for 3-4 games. And who knows what will happen after the injury finally heals. Maybe then Leslie Frazier will be ready to maybe kind of sort of give Ponder his job back…or not, who the hell knows anymore.

Undoubtedly there are Viking fans who are overjoyed at this news. Hey, Cassel played pretty well for one game against an aging, overrated defense, so that means he’s better than Ponder. But in truth neither Cassel nor Ponder is really that much of a quarterback. It’s a pick-em situation and I say support Ponder only because of what you’ve already invested in him including a pretty high draft pick (as I recall).

But of course there’s a nightmare scenario here potentially for Ponder: Cassel plays well, Adrian Peterson has some monster games and the defense gets its issues sorted out. So say the team goes 3-1 in the four games Ponder misses. If you’re Leslie Frazier do you do the right thing and go back to the guy you committed to as the starter before the season, or do you go out for yourself, trying to save your own job, and stick with the hot hand?

It’s all become moot for the time being. Ponder can’t play with his injury and Cassel is the guy. Maybe Cassel will struggle, making Leslie Frazier’s decision much easier. That would be good news for Frazier; we know how much that guy hates having to make tough decisions. Takes him five minutes to make up his mind between fries and onion rings.

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  • Daniel Laxen

    “Ideally the situation would have been rectified by Christian Ponder returning to the field and sending Matt Cassel back to the bench where he belongs.”

    Dude you are a tool! Sometimes I wonder what game you idiots are watching or what career you have been watching, but Ponder is horrible. His last good game came a year ago vs. the 49ers. Cassel comes in and gets the ball out of his hand like this offense is supposed to do. He has success and you belittle that. How long are the Viking faithful supposed to watch Ponder second guess himself? Perhaps this is what Frazier has instilled in #7? Nobody claimed the Steelers were the ilk of the Steel Curtain of the 70s. Far from it. What I saw was a team rally behind what they all believe is the guy that should be playing. Had Walsh made the chip shot from 44 yards away your argument about the defense is moot.

    Let’s not forget that the defense has made great strides in getting turnovers this year. I believe 12 of them? Of course Ponder has given most of those back with less than stellar ball security, but who needs that? Ponder is a high draft pick. Shame on you for your slight of Cassel coming in and doing exactly what he was supposed to do. Then again blaming a defense that gets turnovers while the QB either gives it right back or goes 3 and out, along with a dreadful account of himself in the red zone…Correct me if I’m wrong, but that much maligned defense made the play that ultimately won the game…

    This defense has been stuck with in game 1, a QB that gave it up like a slut on prom night. A rookie punter that played just awful, yet still had the lead at halftime when Ponder could no longer handle and cracked under pressure. Week 2 again given 2 TDs 1 each by special teams and defense. Gave it back via INTs and lack of production in the red zone. 7 points on the road in the 2nd half by the defense on the road in the division, ain’t too shabby. Week 3 again only allowed 7 points in the 2nd half. Got more turnovers and Ponder again couldn’t get it done in the red zone or even make a 1st down when it counted.

    I’m seeing a trend that nearly everyone else is also. It’s the common denominator that Christian Ponder is a huge bust. I recall when they announced his name and was shocked that they could actually make this selection. Now we have all seen the lame arm he possesses and try as he might can’t get zip on an out pattern or has to hoist the ball up in the air so high it gives even the slowest of DBs time to get back into position after the WR has beaten him. Then again there are the outright misses like the toss to Joe Webb wide open missing him by 3 yards in the end zone. That type of miss is reserved for the likes of Tim Tebow. I’m thinking Ponder and Tebow are kindred spirits in the NFL. Both will be out of the league after 3 short years. Name 1 team this guy would start for. OK Maybe Jacksonville!

  • Jake

    Good ole Dan ZInski is back to gift us all with his nuggets of football nonsense. Play Ponder because of what the team “invested in him”? Seriously? That’s your reason to play him? Who cares if he’s playing like garbage and throwing more picks than TD’s, can hardly complete consecutive passes to save his life, and dances around in the pocket like a 5 year old doing the peepee dance, we’ve invested in him and dammit we’re going to play him! Dan, you really don’t know shit about football. If you invest in a company and that company tanks are you going ride that investment all the way to financial ruin just on general principle? Or are you going to move on from that investment, salvage what you can and look toward the next investment? Ugh, just go back to wherever it is you’ve been that has kept you from writing for this site, it’s better without you.

  • dan

    Well its kind of funny you guys criticizing the writer. But obviously you guys have not watched the games. Now ponder did not play great, but they would have won 2 out of those 3 if the shitty defense could hold a lead. They almost blew the steelers game as well. Until they get that fixed I don’t think it matters who you play at qb.

  • David Crosby

    “Takes him five minutes to make up his mind between fries and onion rings.” Freaking HILARIOUS!!

  • Daniel Laxen

    I hadn’t even considered the situation Matt Cassel was involved in in KC. Looking back he was thrust in a shit pot of uncertainty and a revolving door of coordinators and head coaches…

    His 1st year there, after Scott Pioli was hired, and Pioli brought him in as the starter. The Chiefs were coming off a 6- and 26, 2 year shit storm under Herm Edwards. Todd Haley was brought in as the Head Coach. (See Pittsburgh Steelers 2013) Chan Gailey was retained as OC. He soon would be fired after the Chiefs lost their first 3 games. Look at their roster from 09. You’ll laugh! They finished 4-12.
    In 2010 Haley brought in Charlie Weis, and Romeo Crennel to reunion with Pioli from his Patriot past. They won the division that year at 10-6. He had 27 TDs vs. 7 INTs and was only sacked 26 times. The good times weren’t to last though.

    In 2011, Charlie Weis left for Florida St. and O-line coach Bill Muir was now the OC and Haley brought in Jim Zorn to be QB coach. Yeah Zorn was responsible for the success in Washington. Bill is no longer employed in the NFL. What’s messed up is that season the Chiefs were bad, but the Broncos won the division at 8-8 the chiefs 7-9. Haley was fired after week 14 replaced with interim coach Romeo Crennel. He was a stellar 28-55 record as a head coach! He got that position because the Chiefs beat the Packers that season in the biggest upset of the season.

    2012 and the end comes in KC. The Chiefs were the worst team in pro football. Cassel played in 9 games and was a turnover machine. The story of that year also had these highlights. A LB killed his wife and turned the gun on himself outside the facility. Then after a week 8 loss to the Raider when asked why Jammal Charles on ran 5 times, Romeo responded with, “I’m not exactly sure either?”

    Maybe Cassel can be more effective than originally thought? After watching Sunday’s game I think he’s owed that!

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