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.