QB Christian Ponder to stay as Vikings starter for now

Christian Ponder will continue as starting quarterback. (USATSI)
Christian Ponder will continue as starting quarterback. (USATSI)

Josh Freeman was a healthy scratch for the Vikings on Sunday, leading some people to question why Minnesota was paying him $2 million for the rest of the season when he's not playing and proving whether he can be the franchise's quarterback of the future.

But Christian Ponder -- who lost his starting job before Freeman's frightful Minnesota debut a few weeks ago that ended with a concussion, which elevated Ponder back to the No. 1 position -- performed well enough (25 of 37 for 236 yards, one touchdown and one interception) in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Cowboys to hold onto the No. 1 spot for now.

Or at least until the Vikings face the Redskins this Thursday.

"As we speak, I don't see why we would make a change," coach Leslie Frazier said Sunday, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Sometimes after ballgames you make emotional decisions, but I don't see anything that tells me he shouldn't start against the Redskins."

So far this season, all three quarterbacks that the Vikings have played have been rather unimpressive.

During a season in which the team needs to decide what to do with Ponder, their former first-round draft pick, he's led the team to an 0-5 record while throwing twice as many interceptions as touchdowns.

Backup Matt Cassel, in limited action, has looked the best of any Vikings quarterback, and he was the starter when Minnesota got its lone win of the season with Ponder out injured, but what does it say when the team relegated him back to the bench as soon as it could?

And Freeman has played only one game since he was released from the Buccaneers and signed with Minnesota, and though he had very little time to prepare for his new gig, his inaccuracy and shoddy play were astounding.

Therefore, the team goes back to Ponder.

"It's what I need," Ponder said. "I need to be out there playing. I'm happy that I'm out here playing, but losing sucks. We've got to make sure that we get this turned around and go out there and win."

If they don't, that puts coach Leslie Frazier's job in jeopardy -- even though general manager Rick Spielman said this weekend that the organization was solidly behind Frazier. That means Frazier might believe Ponder is the short-term solution but not the long-term solution. It also might mean that Freeman could be the long-term solution, but the team just doesn't have time to test him out now.

Or it could just mean Minnesota is biding its time until next year's draft, when it's sure to get a high first-round pick and perhaps the next quarterback of the future.

Follow Josh Katzowitz on Google+

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories