John Sullivan: 'I'd love to see' Christian Ponder start for Vikings


Christian Ponder has struggled in his third NFL season. (USATSI)
So here's a peculiar, surprising statistic: FootballOutsiders.com's ranks Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco 21st in its QB efficiency metric. The Vikings' Christian Ponder is 27th. And according to ProFootballFocus.com's ratings, Flacco is 30th and Ponder is ... 29th.

Yes, Flacco hasn't been good this season but Ponder has looked several magnitudes worse. So much so that he was a healthy scratch earlier this season for Matt Cassel, and that was before the Vikings signed Josh Freeman. But Freeman, who looked, well, Ponder-esque in his debut against the Giants is still recovering from a concussion, and coach Leslie Frazier won't name a starter for Sunday's game versus the Cowboys until Friday at the earliest.

But Vikings center John Sullivan knows who he wants under center: Ponder.

“[Ponder] prepared really hard and he went out there and laid it all on the line,” Sullivan told the StarTribune.com. “You know, you see that last run that he made when things were getting out of reach [a 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter against the Packers on Sunday] and he’s still out there fighting until the end. I mean, that’s not my decision. But I’d love to see him stay back there, of course.”

Ponder, the team's 2011 first-round pick, seems like a swell guy but he doesn't make the Vikings better. It's why the organization signed Freeman and will almost certainly look for its next franchise quarterback in the April draft.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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