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2011 fourth-round pick Christian Ballard leaves Vikings for personal reasons

Christian Ballard AP

Defensive tackle Christian Ballard had a sack in the team’s preseason opener against the Texans, but was later pulled from the game with a groin injury that’s kept him out of practice over the last week.

Ballard, a fourth-round pick in 2011, won’t be returning to practice this week either. Coach Leslie Frazier announced after Sunday’s practice that Ballard has been placed on the active-left squad list after informing the team that he would be taking time away to deal with some personal issues.

“[Ballard] is one of those guys we were counting on to be a part in our rotation,” Frazier said, via 1500ESPN.com. “He did a very good job for us a season ago, we’re hoping he would help us this year as well. Hopefully, things work out for him. But he has some personal things he has to take care of.”

As Frazier intimated, Ballard was expected to make the team this year but Fred Evans and 2012 first-round pick Sharrif Floyd are now positioned to be the top reserves at tackle behind Kevin Williams and Letroy Guion. If Ballard’s absence is a short one, he may be able to hold onto his spot but the odds are probably against it given how close we are to the start of the regular season.

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35 Responses to “2011 fourth-round pick Christian Ballard leaves Vikings for personal reasons”
  1. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 19, 2013 9:37 AM

    Can you blame him? After Ponder’s last performance, who wouldn’t want to get away from this team?

  2. vgferenzi says: Aug 19, 2013 9:41 AM

    They’ll just sign whomever Green Bay cuts…

  3. jimmysee says: Aug 19, 2013 9:41 AM

    Hope he can work through his problems. It’s bad when those distractions get in the way.

  4. tokyosandblaster says: Aug 19, 2013 9:42 AM

    The beginning of the mass exodus.

  5. golforepar says: Aug 19, 2013 9:52 AM

    I guess he asked if Ponder was a local High School QB, when told he is the starter – he quit!

  6. rc33 says: Aug 19, 2013 10:04 AM

    Christian’s (Ballard) turning on other Christian’s (Ponder)?
    When has that ever happened in recorded history?

  7. tremoluxman says: Aug 19, 2013 10:28 AM

    Gee, if I read many more ‘insightful’ comments here, my IQ will drop.

  8. squared80 says: Aug 19, 2013 10:30 AM

    rc33 says:
    Aug 19, 2013 10:04 AM
    Christian’s (Ballard) turning on other Christian’s (Ponder)?
    When has that ever happened in recorded history?

    ——————————————–

    Lutherans vs. Catholics. Decades of slaughtering each other in the name of Christianity. Pick up a book sometime, man.

  9. purpleguy says: Aug 19, 2013 10:34 AM

    Wonder what the deal is? He hasn’t had any issues before.

  10. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Aug 19, 2013 10:36 AM

    Ballard is a good player, but defensive line is probably the deepest area on the team. He’ll have a hard time making the team if he misses a lot of time, but he needs to do what he needs to do. I hope these personal issues get worked out. If he doesn’t make the team, he’ll catch on elsewhere if he chooses to.

  11. mnmarine0351 says: Aug 19, 2013 10:36 AM

    Once again jokes about the death of a young man. Some peoples only joy in life comes from behind the anonymity of the internet. Seriously Florio, can you do something about this guy?

  12. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 19, 2013 10:54 AM

    Player safety is nothing to joke about.

  13. beedubyatoo says: Aug 19, 2013 10:58 AM

    Maybe there’s something here that’s not clear to me. How do “personal issues” equate to “the death of a young man?”

  14. FlashPatterson says: Aug 19, 2013 11:01 AM

    Really though.. why is Floyd a backup? If he was taken by literally ANY other team he would be staring along side Kevin Williams. Frazier is a moron and he needs to go. Just like sticking with Ponder when its obvious to everyone that he’s horrible. Sure hope Matt Cassel can have the greatest season of his career this year, AD is a superhuman but he can’t do everything.

  15. mnmarine0351 says: Aug 19, 2013 11:07 AM

    beedubyatoo says:
    Aug 19, 2013 10:58 AM
    Maybe there’s something here that’s not clear to me. How do “personal issues” equate to “the death of a young man?”

    comment was already removed. (Thanks PFT) one of the trolls makes comments regularly about the death of Korey Stringer. Talk trash about a rival team all you want but thats subhuman.

  16. fwippel says: Aug 19, 2013 11:10 AM

    Ballard seems to have a promising future, and my guess is that he would have supplanted Guion or Evans on the roster. Hope he can get things worked out and get very soon.

  17. esotericmindguy says: Aug 19, 2013 11:10 AM

    Flash Patterson: I’m with you. Not a Viking fan, but enjoy watching Frazier stick with ponder and something called Guiton. It was best case for non-Viking NFC north fans when the Vikings made the playoffs. They’ll now waste another year of AP’s prime with an awful QB.

  18. FlashPatterson says: Aug 19, 2013 11:15 AM

    Packer fans ripping on Ponder: We get it, that doesn’t really bother us because we do it too. Find something else to yammer on about. How about the Love Boat or the Whizzinator? Those are still fresh, right?

  19. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 19, 2013 11:33 AM

    FlashPatterson says:
    Aug 19, 2013 11:15 AM
    Packer fans ripping on Ponder: We get it, that doesn’t really bother us ………..

    ******************************************

    Yes it does.

  20. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 19, 2013 12:05 PM

    FlashPatterson says:Aug 19, 2013 11:15 AM

    Packer fans ripping on Ponder: We get it, that doesn’t really bother us because we do it too.

    ——-

    Us ripping him may not bother you, but Ponder playing for your squad does apparently make you sad. Which is also fun.

  21. firestarter0728 says: Aug 19, 2013 12:13 PM

    Rumor has it he was so distraught that he would never win a Super Bowl, he decided to quit football altogether and get a job selling vacuum cleaners instead.

  22. chillyball says: Aug 19, 2013 12:40 PM

    Yeah, but Ponder sucks.

  23. theytukrjobs says: Aug 19, 2013 1:14 PM

    No idea what his reasons are. If it is a sick family member or something like that I’d expect him back once things conclude. Wish him the best.

    But I do recall this guy had some “character” type issues coming out. Maybe he is struggling with depression or something. If that is the case, then time away is something that the team should support and welcome him back.

    Some of these NFL players who maybe commit suicide or something you wonder if they weren’t so focused on this extreme sport business and rather were getting some professional help and resting that things might have turned out different.

    In any case, wish him the best. He’s a decent looking player and part of the future if he can maintain.

  24. captlouis says: Aug 19, 2013 1:19 PM

    I normally don’t give Packer fans a second thought, but it’s difficult when they spend every waking hour trolling forums looking for Viking stories about which they can make cowardly comments.
    I wonder if they feel the same way about Jay Cutler as they do about Ponder. Cutler’s numbers were virtually identical to Ponders last year in every category. Of course if I didn’t have better things to do, maybe I would spend my whole day checking out comments on stories about other teams and find that Packer fans post on Bears and Seahawks stories more than those team’s own fans do.

  25. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 19, 2013 3:20 PM

    Ballard found the surroundings too hapless and tasteless.

  26. longcutskolvikes says: Aug 19, 2013 3:52 PM

    The Vikings may not have won a Super Bowl (yet), and Ponder’s poor play may bother me, but at least I don’t have to spend my Friday nights trying to pick up 250 lbs chicks in the parking lot of a ShopKo.

  27. nickynick04 says: Aug 19, 2013 3:57 PM

    I discovered that the Packer fans attack the Vikes threads because there are Waaaaaaay more anti Packer messages on the Packer threads.
    Seriously , it looks like the Viking fans started this childish behavior.
    I would much rather see a ” Respect ” of fellow ” Black & Blue ” division rivals.
    It would be a lot more interesting looking at how ” Our ” division can fair against another.
    How Our particular team can some how survive 6 ” in division ” games.
    I think the NFC North is the best division in the NFL,,,,BAR NONE.
    A trip to Chi town is not a easy task. Nor a trip to play the Vikes at their home, add to that a trip to Detroit or Green Bay can ruin your hopes and dreams of a successful road trip.

    Just saying…..

    FYI
    Da Bears need an ” O ” line & DBs
    Lions need a “d ” secondary , and DBs
    Minn needs a QB , & DBs
    and the Packers need LBs besides CM3 & a LOTackle

  28. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 19, 2013 5:48 PM

    Maybe they could sign Jolly if the Packers cut him.

    Though associating with the purple might be a violation of his parole.

  29. vikes1980 says: Aug 19, 2013 6:24 PM

    he has issues with his family that he is trying to take care of, and if he’s not back soon he will be released and then Everett Dawkins will get his shot to be a rotation guy on the final roster… DE and DT are plenty deep enough that they can afford to lose Ballard if necessary…. DE’s-J.Allen, E.Griffen, B.Robison, L.Jackson….DT’s-K.Williams,L.Guion,S.Floyd,E.Dawkins…. nice D-line rotation….

  30. wingsnwater says: Aug 19, 2013 8:54 PM

    He won’t be cut…he’s on the “left squad” list for a reason…doesn’t count towards an active player and they still retain his contract rights if he decides to come back.

  31. teamnorsecore says: Aug 20, 2013 12:08 AM

    nickynick04 says:
    Aug 19, 2013 3:57 PM
    I discovered that the Packer fans attack the Vikes threads because there are Waaaaaaay more anti Packer messages on the Packer threads.
    Seriously , it looks like the Viking fans started this childish behavior.
    I would much rather see a ” Respect ” of fellow ” Black & Blue ” division rivals.
    It would be a lot more interesting looking at how ” Our ” division can fair against another.
    How Our particular team can some how survive 6 ” in division ” games.
    I think the NFC North is the best division in the NFL,,,,BAR NONE.
    A trip to Chi town is not a easy task. Nor a trip to play the Vikes at their home, add to that a trip to Detroit or Green Bay can ruin your hopes and dreams of a successful road trip.

    Just saying…..

    FYI
    Da Bears need an ” O ” line & DBs
    Lions need a “d ” secondary , and DBs
    Minn needs a QB , & DBs
    and the Packers need LBs besides CM3 & a LOTackle
    …………..
    What fun would it be on here if everyone just got along? Not much……

  32. truthserum4u says: Aug 20, 2013 8:51 AM

    nickynick04 says: Aug 19, 2013 3:57 PM

    Seriously , it looks like the Viking fans started this childish behavior.

    ————————————————–

    Incorrect!!

    Years ago I noticed Viking threads had a ton of comments on them, half of which were Packer fans being childish. At the same time I noticed Packer threads had about 1/5 of the comments with about 25% being Viking fans. Packer fans started the fire and continue to fan the flames.

  33. gergie1957 says: Aug 20, 2013 11:24 AM

    Packer Trolls fear the Vikings.

  34. duece5 says: Aug 24, 2013 1:09 AM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says: Aug 19, 2013 12:05 PM .

    FlashPatterson says:Aug 19, 2013 11:15 AM

    Packer fans ripping on Ponder: We get it, that doesn’t really bother us because we do it too.

    ——-

    Us ripping him may not bother you, but Ponder playing for your squad does apparently make you sad. Which is also fun.

    duece5 says:

    Your own words just upset the football kings…DuJuan Harris hurt…….Carly, quit hexing your team Hey nice Oline!!!!!!!

  35. truelinoge says: Aug 25, 2013 5:18 PM

    Well since I just hung out with Christian today I can tell you that he is mentally stable, doesn’t even have the slightest want to commit suicide… you guys gotta chill. I live in Lawrence, Kansas where he currently is at. All is well, have a nice day.

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