Oct 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) and quarterback Josh Freeman (12) look on from the sidelines during the third quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder Will Start Monday Night if Josh Freeman Can't Go

The Vikings quarterback merry-go-round continues to spin and spin and spin, making everyone dizzy enough to puke. The plan Monday night is for Josh Freeman to hop off the merry-go-round and suit up against the New York Giants, but if Freeman isn’t quite ready to go, the Vikes will reportedly give the old wheel another whirl back around to Christian Ponder.

Yup, it appears Matt Cassel’s window of opportunity as a starter has completely closed. Coming off an uninspired two-interception performance against Carolina, Cassel has been demoted to third-string. In two games as the Vikings’ starting QB, Cassel completed passes at a 70% clip for 489 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 picks. And those will likely be his final numbers as a Viking starter unless something really goes wrong.

So the only QB to win a game for the Vikes this season goes to the bench, and the Vikes turn to a guy they acquired just two weeks ago. Can Freeman really get up to speed with Bill Musgrave’s adorable miniature playcard in time to be effective Monday night against the Giants? Does it even make sense to rush him out there when you still have Ponder on the roster?

An argument can be made for easing Freeman in and giving Ponder the start Monday night on the road against a pretty desperate Giants team. But clearly Rick Spielman is in a major hurry to get Freeman out there and see what his newly-acquired QB can do, while being in an equal rush to end once-and-for-all the Christian Ponder era in Minnesota.

The worst-case scenario for Spielman would be if Ponder started Monday night and actually played well, opening the door a crack for ever-loyal Leslie Frazier to argue that Ponder should be given another shot. Spielman doesn’t want Ponder to get another shot, that is evident. Hence the urgency with Freeman.

Hopefully this won’t blow up in everyone’s faces in the form of a terrible Freeman performance on Monday Night Football. Of course there’s no guarantee that Christian Ponder would do any better. Right now our choice is between unprepared potential above-averageness and prepared known mediocrity. Fun being a Vikings fan.

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