2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ponder will start for Vikings against Packers

By DAVE CAMPBELL - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-10-25 15:20

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for Minnesota against Green Bay on Sunday night, while Josh Freeman will be inactive after being cleared to practice.

Next week's as-the-quarterback-carousel-turns episode has not been written yet, but the Vikings have their guy for the Packers game. Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed after practice on Friday that Ponder will start against the Vikings' bitter rival.

Freeman reported concussion-like symptoms the day after his rough performance Monday night in a loss to the New York Giants.

He passed the NFL's required tests and went through part of the workout with the Vikings on Friday, but this was too late in the week for him to catch up with the game plan and get ready to play. Frazier said Freeman will be inactive on Sunday night, with Matt Cassel backing up Ponder.

Frazier said the Vikings expect Freeman to fully participate in practice next week, which will create another mini-drama about who will take the next turn through this revolving door, particularly if Ponder plays well.

For now, the focus is on the Packers.

''I've got to any way I can help Christian out there. He had an excellent week of practice. He's dropping dimes left and right. I know everybody is excited about moving forward,'' Freeman said.

Freeman said his film review of the game didn't pin down the exact hit that caused the concussion. He said he didn't start feeling bad until after the flight home. This was his first concussion in the NFL.

''I've really appreciated how the coaches have handled it,'' Freeman said. ''It's been kind of, `OK, all right, take your time, feel it out.' It hasn't been, `Hurry up and get back.' They've treated it and handled this situation very professionally in allowing me to get back at my own pace, which is, with any head injuries a necessary step.''

Conspiracy theorists were curious about the timing of the injury, given how poorly Freeman played. But he denied any exaggeration or fabrication of his condition.

''All I can do is live in my truth,'' Freeman said.

Frazier said Freeman's inaccuracy was mostly due to mechanical issues, not for a lack of preparedness.

''There were obviously some shots, looking back, I could hit in my sleep, but in the game they were maybe a little high. That made it hard on my guys,'' Freeman said. ''It's definitely something that calls for improvement and definitely something that we're working on day to day.''

After being benched for Cassel earlier this month, Ponder has the job again. The best game of his NFL career came against the Packers last year, a victory by the Vikings to finish the regular season and reach the playoffs. He also had a decent debut in 2011, at home against the Packers.

Maintaining a positive attitude through the disappointment of losing the job after his broken rib was fully healed paid off for Ponder.

''I wasn't sure if things they were telling me were true or not,'' Ponder said this week. ''But I stayed focused. Like I said in previous weeks, I can control what I can control, and that was getting better on the field and getting healthy. I'm healthy now. And, again, I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity.''

Tight end/fullback Rhett Ellison, who has been an important blocker in the running game, missed practice again on Friday because of an ankle injury and won't play on Sunday night. Frazier said his absence is ''a pretty big loss.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

---

Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Eric DeckerSep 19 03:07p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19. Head coach Rex Ryan suggested that Decker would not have to practice to be [ More ]

Jamaal CharlesSep 19 03:05p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) was practicing with the team for the second straight day Friday, Sept. 19, after missing practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, with a high [ More ]

Josh GordonSep 19 03:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon's suspension has officially been reduced from 16 games to 10 games, according to the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Josh McCownSep 19 03:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) will start Week 4 if he is healthy enough to play, according to head coach Lovie Smith.

C. WhitehurstSep 19 03:02p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is questionable for Week 3. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) fully [ More ]

Colin ColeSep 19 02:52p

Carolina Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker (thigh) is listed as doubtful for Week 3. WR Jason Avant (thigh) and WR Jerricho Cotchery (thigh) are listed as questionable, while OT Byron [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 19 02:52p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3. LB Keith Rivers (groin) was limited in [ More ]

Jordan CameronSep 19 02:42p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (shoulder) will be a game-time decision in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens. Head coach Mike Pettine said he was 'cautiously optimistic' that Cameron [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 19 02:42p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) has practiced with the team all week and is ready to play in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks. He practiced in full [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 19 02:32p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) was limited during practice Friday, Sept. 19, and is listed as questionable for Week 3.

Todd HerremansSep 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) has been ruled out for Week 3. WR Josh Huff (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, OT Matt Tobin (ankle) and SS Earl Wolff [ More ]

DeSean JacksonSep 19 02:22p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), who was limited in practice Friday, Sept. 19, didn't look 100 percent fluid in individual drills, but he was able to catch the [ More ]

Steve WeatherfordSep 19 02:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) and LB Devon Kennard (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and have been ruled out for the team's [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Sep 19 02:12p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Ben TateSep 19 01:32p

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Sept. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 3.

Josh McCownSep 19 01:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) is scheduled to have an MRI on a thumb injury Friday, Sept. 19. The belief is that the thumb is sprained.

DeSean JacksonSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Head coach Jay Gruden said Jackson made steps in a 'positive direction,' [ More ]

Jordan ReedSep 19 12:42p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) has been ruled out of Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

John AbrahamSep 19 12:32p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, Sept. 19.

Jonathan DwyerSep 19 12:22p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer, who was charged in a domestic violence case involving his wife and young son, may not return to the team unless he's exonerated from [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 12:02p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) doesn't yet have a defined timetable to return, head coach Lovie Smith said. Smith also didn't address whether QB Mike Glennon would [ More ]

Paul KrugerSep 19 11:42a

Cleveland Browns LB Paul Kruger has two sacks, eight tackles (three for a loss) and a pass defensed. He's having a breakthrough in the new system designed by head [ More ]

A.J. GreenSep 19 10:52a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) said he feels good Friday, Sept. 19, and is ready to play in Week 3.

Shaun HillSep 19 09:42a

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) will be a game-time decision in Week 3.

Cam NewtonSep 19 09:32a

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (ribs, ankle) is unlikely to be 100 percent the rest of the season. He experiences pain the night after the games and receives treatment [ More ]

Julio JonesSep 19 09:12a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones, who was probable entering Week 3 of the NFL season, hauled in nine catches for 161 yards and scored twice in a 56-14 win [ More ]

Bobby RaineySep 19 09:02a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, starting in place of injured RB Doug Martin (knee), led the team with seven catches for 64 yards Thursday, Sept. 18, against the [ More ]

Josh McCownSep 19 03:22a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said it is too soon to tell how long QB Josh McCown (thumb) may be out following his thumb injury suffered Thursday, Sept. [ More ]

Shelby HarrisSep 19 02:32a

Although the Oakland Raiders waived DE Shelby Harris, the team may still re-sign him back to the practice squad.

Emmanuel AchoSep 19 12:42a

Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks (calf) is considered very doubtful for the team's Week 3 game, according to head coach Chip Kelly. LB Emmanuel Acho likely would start at [ More ]

Derek CoxSep 19 12:32a

The Chicago Bears worked out free-agent WR Damian Williams (Dolphins), WR Kyle Williams (Chiefs), CB Derek Cox (Ravens) and CB Brandon Ghee (Chargers) this week.

LaMichael JamesSep 18 11:32p

The Miami Dolphins have expressed interest in free-agent RB LaMichael James (49ers) and it is believed that he has some interest in the team. James is expected to take [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group