Outwardly, the Vikings are committed to quarterback Christian Ponder. Inwardly, maybe not.
Jay Glazer of FOX reports that the leash on the third-year ball-thrower is shorter than believed. If Ponder continues to struggle (he had three interceptions last week), the 12th pick in the 2011 draft could be benched for Matt Cassel.
One major factor in the decision-making process could be, in our view, the contract status of coach Leslie Frazier. That contract extension he supposedly got in the offseason was merely the team picking up an option for 2014. To earn an extension, Frazier needs to win. To win, he may need to put Ponder on the bench.
The Vikings have a bye coming up in Week Five, after a game against the Steelers in London. That could be the best time to give Cassel a maximum opportunity to get ready to play.