Ponder or Cassel To Start Week 6
By Adam Carlson
Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Despite the big news of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman signing with the Vikings, Minnesota looks to be starting either Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel against the Carolina Panthers in week 6.
"“I think Christian still has a bright future here with our football team. It may not look like that on the surface, but Christian’s a professional,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We’re going to see how Christian does on Wednesday. But between he and Matt, they’ll be the guys that are starting the game. We’re not going to try and get Josh up and going for this ballgame.”"
It sounds like Ponder is the number one choice to be the starter on Sunday, followed by Matt Cassel if Ponder is unable to go. Meanwhile, Josh Freeman will be learning the playbook and getting acquainted with the Vikings offense.
Minnesota’s Christian Ponder is focusing on getting healthy and preparing to face even more competition at the quarterback spot.
"Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) passes against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns win 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports“I’m just focused on what I can do. We’ll see how it plays out and I’m a man of faith so I believe that God’s got my future in his hands,” Ponder said. “I don’t know what that means. I’m trying to get healthy. I think ultimately it is going to make me a better quarterback.”"
And Matt Cassel is used to this situation. He will do his normal routine and prepare as if he were going to be starting.
"Aug 16, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) passing the ball before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports“It’s not anything that’s overwhelming or surprising, it’s one of those things that’s the NFL,” Cassel said. “I haven’t been told anything. I don’t expect anything. I’ll just continue to work hard and be ready to play just like I was last week when I found out on Friday.”"
The Vikings will play the Carolina Panthers at home in their next contest. The Panthers are currently 1-3 and struggling to find an identity as a team. Whether it is Cassel or Ponder behind center, this is a game that the Vikings must win to stay relevant in the division title race.