Ponder was promoted to serve as Colin Kaepernick's backup prior to Sunday's loss to Atlanta, CSN Bay Area reports. Ponder has spent the entire regular season as the 49ers' inactive third quarterback. With the club receiving inconsistent play under center between Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, the coaching staff may be inching towards giving the former first-rounder a look in the final game or two. No official change has been announced, but if Ponder were to receive playing time, he would be a low-upside fantasy option due to his reputation as a "game manager."
A locker room source stated that "Ponder is the best quarterback on the roster," CSN Bay Area reports. While the locker room source doesn't make the decisions for the 49ers, they did suggest that there is some support for Ponder to start within the locker room. The third-string quarterback has a similar skill set to Gabbert in that he doesn't take too many shots downfield and also possesses the ability to run the ball. Regardless of whoever Chip Kelly chooses, it appears a change is looming after a 1-4 start.
Ponder completed 7-of-8 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos on Saturday. He also added 21 yards and another touchdown on two carries. Ponder shined in his debut with the 49ers despite joining the team just four days prior. He was brought on to serve as a placeholder until Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) returns, but his stellar production -- albeit against backup defenders -- has to immediately put him in the conversation to possibly make the team as a third-stringer. It looks like Kaepernick could return this Friday against the Packers, so it will be interesting to see how the 49ers use Ponder and rookie backup Jeff Driskel in that game.
Ponder signed a one-year contract with the 49ers on Tuesday. With Thaddeus Lewis (torn ACL) on injured reserve and Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) still not throwing, the 49ers need a third healthy quarterback for their upcoming joint-squad practices with the Broncos. If Kaepernick isn't available for Saturday's preseason game, Ponder may get thrown into the fire just four days after joining the team. Regardless, Ponder probably won't stick around beyond the preseason.
Ponder was released by the Broncos on Tuesday, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports. With Peyton Manning (foot) set to miss another week, the Broncos are apparently content to have Trevor Siemian serve as the lone backup to Brock Osweiler. Ponder will likely be near the top of many teams' emergency quarterback lists.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||Los Angeles Rams||4||9.00|
|10||11/12||New York Giants||16||18.00|
|17||12/31||@Los Angeles Rams||4||9.00|
|3 Year Avg||46.7||74||0||1||5||0||1|