Matt Cassel – Not Josh Freeman – Replaces Christian Ponder for Vikings

When Christian Ponder was injured against the Redskins on TNF, it was Matt Cassel and not Josh Freeman that the Vikings turned to.
When Christian Ponder was injured against the Redskins on TNF, it was Matt Cassel and not Josh Freeman that the Vikings turned to.

When Christian Ponder was injured on Thursday Night Football, it was Matt Cassel and not Josh Freeman who took the remaining snaps under center. This just goes to show that when it comes to quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, fans have learned to expect the unexpected in 2013.

The injury could not have come at a worse time for the Minnesota Vikings or Christian Ponder. It appeared as if the former first round draft pick had finally begun to solidify his place as the team’s starting passer, but now he will once again have to start over after leaving the Vikings Thursday Night Football contest with the Washington Redskins in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.

With the Vikings driving down the field, Ponder took off scrambling from the 15 yardline and sprinted down the left sideline. It appeared as if his dive towards the pylon had paid off with a touchdown, but a replay would overturn the decision. To make matters worse, Christian Ponder would get up grabbing his arm and would have to leave the game due to the injured shoulder he suffered.

Matt Cassel would fill in and help the Vikings secure their 34-27 nailbiting victory, a bit of a surprise considering Minnesota just went out and signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Josh Freeman and started him almost immediately. The decision to start Freeman over both Ponder and Cassel made it appear as if the team’s intention was to see if Freeman was the future of the franchise with the playoffs out of reach this year.

Perhaps the Vikings chose Cassel over Freeman when Ponder when down because of playbook knowledge.
Perhaps the Vikings chose Cassel over Freeman when Ponder when down because of playbook knowledge.

The Freeman start was infamously horrible, and Christian Ponder was handed back the starting role he had lost. Although he failed to win in either of his two starts prior to the Redskins game, Ponder showed that he had some playmaking ability and appeared to have secured the starting job moving forward.

Now that Cassel is back under center and has a victorious fourth quarter under his belt, one has to wonder if the Minnesota Vikings have just started the quarterback carousel back up. It appears as if the revolving door at quarterback is once again back to the backup Cassel, skipping over the other backup Freeman on its way.

None of these men look like they will be elite anytime soon, but consistency is good for the rest of the offense. Changing quarterbacks as often as the Vikings do is good for no one. For once it looked like the Vikings would stick with Christian Ponder, only to have injuries force them to once again choose between Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman.

Updates will be available on Christian Ponder and the rest of the Vikings quarterback situation as soon as he know more.

Charlie Gille

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