Christian Ponder, the Vikings' first-round pick in 2011, was supposed to take a step forward for Minnesota this year but things got off to a rocky start as he threw three interceptions in a Week 1 loss to the Lions.
There's plenty of concern in Minny over Ponder and he might be in more hot water than anyone expects. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported Sunday morning that Ponder is on a "much shorter leash than anyone has any idea about."
The Vikings went out and signed Matt Cassel this offseason to back up Ponder. Cassel's no star but it sure does sound like the Vikings are growing more and more concerned that Ponder could end up submarining their attempt to make the playoffs two seasons in a row.
He stunk against the Lions, failing to throw against eight- and nine-man fronts. There's very much reason for worry that Ponder can't cut the ball loose or develop into a starting-caliber quarterback at the NFL level.
Ponder has the ultimate cushion in the form of Adrian Peterson, who forces defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage and open up passing lanes. But he still hasn't gotten it done through the air.
Things won't get any easier in Week 2 against the Bears' vaunted defense. It wouldn't be totally stunning to see Cassel enter the game if the Vikings are getting manhandled.