Minnesota Vikings Will Start Christian Ponder, Jerome Simpson Will Play Sunday


Minnesota Viking Christian Ponder will start, barring any crazy unforeseen circumstances, this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks Coach Leslie Frazier said.

Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) rushes against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Ponder was injured on the play and did not return. The Vikings win 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Ponder was questionable up until Friday with a dislocated left shoulder in a 34-27 win last Thursday against the Washington Redskins. Ponder has been saying all week that he expected to be healthy enough to start this Sunday despite what Frazier has said, and it looks like he was right.

“The way he moved around (Friday), he looked pretty good,” Frazier said after Friday’s workout. “Hopefully he’ll wake up (Saturday) without any residual effects, negative effects, from (Friday’s) workload we gave him.”

Ponder is looking to continue his winning streak into this week and it is a major help that he is coming off one of the best games of his three-year NFL career. He completed 17 of 21 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins for a passer rating of 113.1 as the Vikings who are 2-7 broke a four-game losing streak.

Ponder was taken out of the game late in the third quarter when he dove into the end-zone pylon in an attempt to score. But his shoulder has made improvements everyday this week.

“It’s gotten better and better, and I feel I threw the ball around really well (Friday),” Ponder said. “It feels good … (Medical officials) were poking around on it (Friday) morning, and there wasn’t too much pain. There was a little discomfort, but it wasn’t too bad.”

Ponder said he will wear a harness Sunday for additional protection. And, to air on the side of caution, Frazier said the Vikings might activate all three quarterbacks Sunday if need be.

While Ponder’s improvement has been leaps and bounds this week, odds makers still aren’t optimistic about Minnesota’s chances. The Seahawks this week have been favored by as many as 14 points.

“It’s always fun to play in games like this when everyone counts you out,” Ponder said.

“He’s going to play great,” wide receiver Jerome Simpson said. “He’s going to make the throws he needs to make. He’s going to make the runs he needs. He’s going to be the Christian Ponder we need to count on.”

And speaking of Simpson, he was also right when he predicted that he would be playing this Sunday as well. He was arrested last weekend on suspicion of DWI, but he could still be replaced by Cordarrelle Patterson. It is unknown if he will start, but he will see the field.

“We’ll see what happens when we talk again next week,” Frazier said. “I know our general manager, Rick Spielman, will be on the phone with the league office on Monday, as he has been this week, to talk about what can and can’t be done. We’ll pick up those conversations again on Monday.”