Last Thursday Minnesota Vikings Christian Ponder dislocated his shoulder and he has been pessimistic regarding his recovery process and his ability to start his fourth straight game –which would be a record for any Vikings quarterback this season.
Now with a ‘mini-bye’ week behind them, the Vikings had 10 days to prepare for Sunday’s matchup at the Seattle Seahawks, Ponder said Thursday he’s made a quick turnaround even surprising himself.
“I woke up Monday and Tuesday and I kept feeling better and better,” Ponder said. “So I threw it around a lot more than I expected to [Wednesday].”
While Ponder was limited at practice, he continues to take first-team reps. the ultimate decision lays in the hands of Coach Leslie Frazier, but Ponder seems confident enough with his process that he’ll be the starter on Sunday.
Playing with a recently dislocated shoulder would be tough enough, but Ponder will try to avoid any painful hits from one of the more physical defenses in the league.
The Seahawks’ third-ranked defense is second in the NFL in stopping the pass, they allow only 178 yards per game throwing. They’re also one of five teams in the league that have grabbed more interceptions- 13 than passing touchdowns allowed-10.
“Obviously, I’m going to get hit at some point. Hopefully not. But we’ll see how it ends up feeling,” Ponder said. “But I’m sure it will be a little painful and I don’t know, hopefully the Seahawks don’t have a target on it.”
If Ponder starts, he would be fighting an uphill battle against the Seahawks secondary. He’s currently tied with six other quarterbacks for 30th in the NFL in touchdown passes (5) and only the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars have fewer receiving touchdowns than the Vikings’ eight.
Ponder will wear a harness for additional stability on his shoulder, but he does not expect to wear any additional padding on Sunday.
“Continuity is what I’m hoping for. Obviously, I want to be the one out there playing and starting,” Ponder said. “I’m going to keep playing and try to play as well as I can, so I can be out there for the rest of the season.”