Today, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder can hold a football and raise it to his chest.
Ponder told reporters Monday there was no way his right arm would have allowed him to play in Saturday night’s playoff loss to the Packers, as he couldn’t physically throw a football.
“To know that we had a game like that in Green Bay, we had a very good chance of winning that game,” Ponder said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “For myself to let my team down, that’s what hurts the most.”
Ponder pulled back a protective sleeve to show reporters his badly bruised right arm. Shari Gross of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune got a picture of it, but Pelissero’s reaction to it might be as telling.
Ponder said he wouldn’t need surgery, that time to rest would allow it to heal properly.
He also said he knew there was no realistic chance of playing in the playoff game, that the surprise was getting through the regular season finale after Packers safety Morgan Burnett hit him in the arm.
“Once I left the game on that Sunday, it was pretty tough to even move it,” Ponder said. “We were optimistic. We put a lot of time and treatment and we saw progressions each day that maybe we had some hope that by 7 o’clock Saturday night I’d be ready to go. That just didn’t come into fruition.”
While there was some optimism that Webb’s mobility might have given the Vikings some degree of hope, their lack of anyone behind Ponder with the ability to throw the forward pass doomed them.
Addressing that this offseason will be important, should they want to give themselves a chance in this situation again.