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Ponder’s rib injury could give Vikings a chance to see what Cassel can do

Matt Cassell AP

On Wednesday, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was limited in practice with a rib injury.

“He did a little less than we were hoping; [he's] a little sore,” coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday, in advance of practice.  “We’ll give him more [snaps], see if he can handle it.”

At a certain level, the Vikings may be hoping Ponder can’t handle it.  If that happens, they can then see if Matt Cassel can handle it.

A Ponder injury gives the Vikings the best way to test drive Cassel.  If Cassel plays well, Ponder’s injury lingers.  If Cassel stinks, Ponder suddenly gets healthy.

Or if Cassel simply has the “hot hand,” it won’t be as if Ponder has gotten benched.  Cassel plays while his hand is hot, and Ponder returns once Cassel’s hand cools off.

The added benefit of playing Cassel this weekend will be that, if Cassel stinks, the Vikings can declare that they have “no intent” to trade for Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

And all that that implies.

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77 Responses to “Ponder’s rib injury could give Vikings a chance to see what Cassel can do”
  1. kcrobert10 says: Sep 26, 2013 7:29 AM

    I’m sorry I can’t stop laughing. Did they not watch him in kc the last few yrs.

  2. unrulyondamic says: Sep 26, 2013 7:32 AM

    We already know what Cassel can do. Just check the Chiefs’ playoff record the past couple of years..

  3. bennyb82 says: Sep 26, 2013 7:35 AM

    Cassel is what Greg Jennings has been secretly hoping for…

  4. germanstingray says: Sep 26, 2013 7:39 AM

    Just watch some 2012 KC game film, and then you’ll know what he can do!

  5. dtownsportslions says: Sep 26, 2013 7:39 AM

    Couldn’t be worse, right? Not only are the Vikings 0-3, they just lost to the Browns at home. I remember Queens fans telling me they would win 12-13 games this year. Lol.

  6. wearethesteelers says: Sep 26, 2013 7:41 AM

    What a mess.

  7. rmavs says: Sep 26, 2013 7:41 AM

    McLeod Bethel-Thompson!!

  8. joetoronto says: Sep 26, 2013 7:53 AM

    “Ponder’s rib injury could give Vikings a chance to see what Cassel can do”

    We all know what Cassel can do and it isn’t pretty.

  9. moelester says: Sep 26, 2013 7:56 AM

    I’ve seen what Matt Cassel can do. No thanks.

  10. chief67 says: Sep 26, 2013 7:56 AM

    You better hope the Vikings O-line gives him 10 seconds to throw the ball , because he`s terrible under pressure …

  11. philliampenn says: Sep 26, 2013 7:59 AM

    Lose-lose for the Vikings.if freeman gets into the mix it will be a lose-lose-lose situation.

  12. hankstramjr says: Sep 26, 2013 8:01 AM

    Ponder is Cassel 2.0. I wouldn’t expect much.

  13. mattsffrd says: Sep 26, 2013 8:03 AM

    uh…we’ve had years to see what Cassel can do

  14. Joemontanaflacco says: Sep 26, 2013 8:07 AM

    Maybe a change in QB is just what the Vikings need to pound the Steelers into bangers and mash! Cheers, mate!

  15. dannyreneau says: Sep 26, 2013 8:15 AM

    Test drive Cassel? Did nobody watch KC football last year but me?

  16. t8ertot says: Sep 26, 2013 8:16 AM

    Should be an upgrade

  17. gb4mn0 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:21 AM

    Maybe Spielman the so called magician can pull off a trade that’s as comparatively as dumb as his trading up to grab Christine Pondexter at No.12 overall?

  18. glennsyank13 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:22 AM

    His ribs are sore. That is pathetic. Man up Ponder!

  19. TBaySlim says: Sep 26, 2013 8:22 AM

    wanted to give ponder the benefit of the doubt for this season, but there is no question on what he is, a decent athlete who can run, but is not a starting NFL QB, maybe we could trade tampa freeman for ponder straight up!

  20. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Sep 26, 2013 8:23 AM

    I can tell you what he can do. He can get sacked alot, throw a ton of picks, miss wide open receivers, fumble, look worse than Ponder. Did I miss anything?

  21. FlashPatterson says: Sep 26, 2013 8:28 AM

    I don’t care how they spin it, we just need to move on from noodle arm. Why is Bethel-thompson on the team if there’s no intention to ever play him? if Cassel sucks, put him in.

  22. slick50ks says: Sep 26, 2013 8:29 AM

    Trust me when I say, Cassel does and will stink.

    He runs a play that’s actually called “fetal position”. And he does it better than anyone in the league.

  23. mnmarine0351 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:34 AM

    Say what you want to about Ponder but Cassel is not the answer. We need to see as much of Ponder as possible to see just how hard the Vikes need to push to draft a QB next year. He either does well and they can take one a lil later or he stinks and the Vikes know they need to try again.

  24. fwippel says: Sep 26, 2013 8:35 AM

    As long as Bill Musgrave is calling the plays, I don’t think it will matter who is taking the snaps at QB. Cassel didn’t impress last year or in the preseason.

    Despite Ponder’s performance so far this year, the Vikings have a better chance with him behind center than Cassel.

  25. zoellner25 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:39 AM

    Ponder = another great draft pick by the queens

  26. redbullenergydrink says: Sep 26, 2013 8:44 AM

    I wonder what it feels like to have a young franchise quarterback…

    – Vikings fan

  27. sterling7 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:49 AM

    As a Viking 4 life since 1968 “Ponder’s rib injury could give Vikings a chance to see what Cassel can do”-couldn’t hurt………………………………..

  28. realitycheckbaby says: Sep 26, 2013 8:51 AM

    Battle of the mighty.

  29. jsally430 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:56 AM

    ponder sucks. But, to give him a sliver of credit the offensive line has been horrendous. not saying that’s the reason you over throw guys on five yard outs. but remember when cassel played behind a terrible offensive line? I feel it’ll be more of the same. #tankforteddy

  30. larjones64 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:57 AM

    I’m not sure what Cassel will bring to the team; but he’s an experienced veteran probably capable of providing more leadership in the huddle. I’m ready for a change. I can no longer support Ponder, Frazier or the rest of the coaching staff. Spielman should fire Frazier at the bye and make Singletary the interim HC. I qualify that by saying I do not think Singletary is the answer here. He could light a fire under this team for the rest of the year though. Or he could finish the destruction of it. SkolVikings!

  31. newyorkshets says: Sep 26, 2013 8:59 AM

    It’s been scientifically proved that Christian ponder sucks.

  32. rayvens says: Sep 26, 2013 9:06 AM

    its always a bad sign when you dont know who’s better …your starting QB or your Backup QB..smh

  33. vietnambob2473 says: Sep 26, 2013 9:06 AM

    Lol, if they put Casselin, they really have given up. Were the last 4 years of horrible play in KC not enough to show that Cassel is not the answer?

  34. conormacleod says: Sep 26, 2013 9:07 AM

    People will disagree, but this isn’t good. Cassel isn’t the long term answer. And at 0-3 Cassel isn’t going to go 10-3 for a playoff push. So, you have to live or die with Ponder this year. In the off season you can make wholesale changes, starting with the coaching staff.

  35. wtfchiefs says: Sep 26, 2013 9:11 AM

    If you didn’t think you could do any worse than Ponder, you’re about to find out how wrong you were. Condolences to you Vikings fans.

  36. whatjusthapped says: Sep 26, 2013 9:13 AM

    If anyone wants to really see what Cassel can do, go back and review last season where he was a starting QB. I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up, he finished dead last in the NFL and only 7 places in front of him is Ponder.

    The Viking’s brain trust (and I use that term loosely) went into this season with two QB’s that finished in the bottom third of QB ratings for 2012.

    So to hope Cassel gets the hot hand as your answer for a 0-3 start is like buying lotto tickets to solve your pending bankruptcy, it could happen but the odds are so long its hardly worth thinking about. As our the Viking’s Superbowl chances.

  37. RedRuffensor says: Sep 26, 2013 9:14 AM

    Ponder won’t be mistaken for one of the better QBs in the NFL, that’s for sure, but the Vikings have averaged 27 points in 3 games this year, and that should have been sufficient to win a game or two. The most pressing problem IMHO is that the Vikings’ pass defense stinks and, now, the secondary is injury-depleted. If the Vikings can’t defend against the pass, then it pretty much doesn’t matter who is QB’ing for them.

  38. golforepar says: Sep 26, 2013 9:15 AM

    Obviously Cassel can’t do much if Ponder beat him out as QB!

  39. purplepride1978 says: Sep 26, 2013 9:16 AM

    I would certainly hope they DO NOT pursue Freeman. That would be a definite reach in this situation. Ponder can scramble, I will give him that. But his passes are off regularly off target. I say give Cassel the rock and see what he can do, then at least we know what the Vikings organization has to do come draft time/free agency.

  40. finsguy says: Sep 26, 2013 9:19 AM

    If Cassel stinks and we know Ponder stinks I hope they don’t panic and trade for Freeman. He is decent but he isn’t the answer either and they are already 0-3 this year. Better to get a real QB at the earliest opportunity.

  41. jhein23 says: Sep 26, 2013 9:20 AM

    Many Vikings fans this offseason were calling this a darkhouse Super Bowl team. What were they seeing?

  42. jredshoes says: Sep 26, 2013 9:23 AM

    3 stellar options. Ponder, Cassell or Freeman? I’m not sure what the Vikings did wrong in another life to be subjected to this quarterback hell.

  43. markchmurasbabysitter says: Sep 26, 2013 9:26 AM

    Nice! Clowney will be the perfect replacement for Jared Allen!

  44. nelly837 says: Sep 26, 2013 9:26 AM

    “If Cassel stinks” isn’t that a given?

  45. mnsadsportsfan says: Sep 26, 2013 9:27 AM

    We can only hope

  46. crownofthehelmet says: Sep 26, 2013 9:36 AM

    Something tells me a direct snap to AD might be the best option at QB this weekend.

  47. tjacks7 says: Sep 26, 2013 9:47 AM

    I can already tell you he can’t do much. He’s no better than Ponder. And a waste of $4 this year and the reason Winfield is no longer around which is partially why the defense is getting torched every week. It really blows when it’s 3 weeks into the season and you’re looking ahead to the draft. Life as a Viking fan, I suppose.

  48. elliottcovert says: Sep 26, 2013 10:03 AM

    On the bright side, Jerome Felton is back this week!

  49. sbchampsagain says: Sep 26, 2013 10:06 AM

    Playing against Christian Ponders BACKUP is the only chance the steelers have. At least the black and yella can finally get off the shcneid this week.

  50. jdubkc says: Sep 26, 2013 10:16 AM

    As a life long KC fan, I offer my condolences to all Vikings fans and wish you a speedy recovery. You are in my prayers.

  51. bobnelsonjr says: Sep 26, 2013 10:17 AM

    Really the vikings should put together a trade package wherein the Buccaneers absorb some of Freeman’s salary.
    Such an arrangement would not cost much in terms of draft picks. I don’t think the vikings have much talent in players to trade to Tampa Bay.

    The vikings high cost free agent acquisitions of John Carlson and Greg Jennings can only be a wise investment of cap money if they could get a QB like Freeman.

    Plus the vikings have shown that they are the most black QB friendly franchise and have always done better with picking up QB’s off the NFL scrap heap than drafting one.

  52. stoogy says: Sep 26, 2013 10:24 AM

    I bet Super Ben feels these two need a better work ethic

  53. akasaintsbaby says: Sep 26, 2013 10:42 AM

    One thing is for sure. No matter what happens, Leslie Frazier will be on the sideline with his arms crossed looking like a deer in headlights, lol.

  54. immafubared says: Sep 26, 2013 10:52 AM

    I think Ponder and his agent see the writing on the wall with Pittsburg coming up and they both agree ‘you better have some injury to complain about and get out of this game for sure, or it could be your last as a QB in Minnesota.
    Ponder was given a long three year leash and after three loses, looks to be tightening up quite a bit.
    Word is Mr Freeman may be available. You can’t tell me they haven’t made some calls to Tampa.
    The Vikes org never sits back and lets things fester.
    They have fickled fans who will stop going to games if they keep losing.

  55. siggtacular says: Sep 26, 2013 10:56 AM

    Cassel sucks tho..

  56. katientony says: Sep 26, 2013 11:12 AM

    Trading for Freeman is a waste of time. Put Cassel in. He is NOT going to be good. Essentially, you are evaluating Cassel for the back up position next year. If he sucks even more then you thought, move on to MBT. Evaluate MBT for that back up position. Basically trying to figure out what to do for BACKUP QB next year. Then go into the draft and draft a QB worth having. You may have to give up some picks to move up to one of the more “garenteed” prospects, but it will be worth it. If you have a true top 10 Franchise QB you will be competitive every year. Then build around that new franchise QB.

  57. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Sep 26, 2013 11:25 AM

    They’ll probably start Cassel this week, he will be worse than Ponder, and that will prevent Ponder from being booed out of the building when he starts the next game.

  58. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Sep 26, 2013 11:41 AM

    Rib injury… ya… that is what we will call it.

  59. isphet71 says: Sep 26, 2013 11:44 AM

    Cassel is exactly the kind of QB the Vikings target – average at best. Should work out great for them.

    Wouldn’t want to take carries away from AP…

  60. gbatap says: Sep 26, 2013 11:45 AM

    Omaha! Omaha!

  61. joker65 says: Sep 26, 2013 12:45 PM

    Meh. Theres no hope in any of these characters. Just keep losing and get one of the top qb’s in the draft next year. Or Clowney.

  62. lindacaseauthor says: Sep 26, 2013 12:45 PM

    @dtownsportslions: Hopefully the Vikes will win more games than the LIONS did last year. How soon we forget, huh? And if not, we can be the Lions and finally get a high draft pick, like the Lions have done for more years than any Lions fan can count.

  63. squared80 says: Sep 26, 2013 12:51 PM

    Vikes fans are smart enough to know that Cassel insn’t the answer, but at least he gives them a better chance of winning every week. Ponder has been AWFUL.

  64. allday28mvpmvp says: Sep 26, 2013 1:08 PM

    gb4mn0 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:21 AM

    Maybe Spielman the so called magician can pull off a trade that’s as comparatively as dumb as his trading up to grab Christine Pondexter at No.12 overall?

    —–

    That’s the great thing about the internet. You can spew lies and non-sense and pass it off as the truth.

    However the Vikings did NOT “trade up” to draft Ponder

  65. allday28mvpmvp says: Sep 26, 2013 1:12 PM

    katientony says: Sep 26, 2013 11:12 AM

    Trading for Freeman is a waste of time. Put Cassel in. He is NOT going to be good. Essentially, you are evaluating Cassel for the back up position next year. If he sucks even more then you thought, move on to MBT. Evaluate MBT for that back up position. Basically trying to figure out what to do for BACKUP QB next year. Then go into the draft and draft a QB worth having. You may have to give up some picks to move up to one of the more “garenteed” prospects, but it will be worth it. If you have a true top 10 Franchise QB you will be competitive every year. Then build around that new franchise QB.

    —–

    If we drafted a QB next year how would Ponder not be our backup? He has kept the Vikings in every game this season. He is not the only person to blame for 0-3. Not even close. The secondary has had worse play than the QB position. By far.
    The QB position has not seen results (no TDs by WRs) but has not consistently made game changing mistakes like the secondary has.

  66. tokyosandblaster says: Sep 26, 2013 1:12 PM

    immafubared says: Sep 26, 2013 10:52 AM “They have fickled fans who will stop going to games if they keep losing.”

    We call those fans “bandwagon fans,” and we know that’s exactly how Minny rolls.

    >

  67. hanklee1989 says: Sep 26, 2013 1:27 PM

    I don’t care who the quarterback is, and neither guy is the long term solution. What I fear most is Cassel OR Ponder getting hot and winning a few games, not enough to make the postseason, but enough to screw up our draft position AND buy our coaching staff another season. I just have that feeling something like that could happen. And with Jacksonville still in the league, the #1 pick is going to be very hard to acquire.

  68. golforepar says: Sep 26, 2013 1:32 PM

    allday28,
    Speaking of Ponder’s draft class, that was the year the Packer’s picked 32nd – XLV Champs!!

  69. amazingguy101 says: Sep 26, 2013 1:42 PM

    Lets all agree the season making playoffs is over. Lets just get Johnny football next season to make things instesting

  70. allday28mvpmvp says: Sep 26, 2013 1:54 PM

    hanklee1989 says: Sep 26, 2013 1:27 PM

    I don’t care who the quarterback is, and neither guy is the long term solution. What I fear most is Cassel OR Ponder getting hot and winning a few games, not enough to make the postseason, but enough to screw up our draft position AND buy our coaching staff another season. I just have that feeling something like that could happen. And with Jacksonville still in the league, the #1 pick is going to be very hard to acquire.

    —–

    Only losers talk about throwing in the towel and just quitting on a season. Especially 3 games in

  71. allday420ap says: Sep 26, 2013 1:58 PM

    ponder is far better than cassel, and if he gets the same protection or lack of it from our o line its game over.

  72. lloydchristmas1 says: Sep 26, 2013 2:17 PM

    tokyosandblaster says:
    Sep 26, 2013 1:12 PM
    immafubared says: Sep 26, 2013 10:52 AM “They have fickled fans who will stop going to games if they keep losing.”

    We call those fans “bandwagon fans,” and we know that’s exactly how Minny rolls.

    I disagree…bandwagon fans only follow a team when things are going good…Vikings have been mediocre for the most part for 40 years…How are they being bandwagon at this point? Every NFL team has bandwagon fans because not everyones lives revolve around sports sports sports.

  73. gbmickey says: Sep 26, 2013 3:41 PM

    They are bandwagon fans because most jump on board in the offseason after a free agent signing or two and completion of the draft. Then claim paper champions for the 3rd season in a row(if you have been here you’d understand) then claim they are the team to beat because of the acquisitions. Most of the viking posters have abandoned this site after week 3, if there were a poster child for bandwagon this would be it.

  74. hanklee1989 says: Sep 26, 2013 4:33 PM

    allday,

    We are already 0-3, 3 games behind Chicago in the division. We are 2 behind Detroit, and we have 2 losses within the division. At the rate our offense is moving, we won’t be able to score enough in bunches to keep up with Green Bay when Rodgers plays our scab corners and linebackers. The same exact gameplan has destroyed our defense 3 weeks in a row. We are the only team in the NFL that could play a Cover 2 and allow screens to repeatedly get behind them.

    The coaching staff would struggle against FCS opponents, let alone NFL coordinators.

  75. rottenbellybutton says: Sep 26, 2013 7:52 PM

    You’re right crown. The only points the Vikings will score this sunday will come from the D. Int’s and fumble recoveries from your mediocre qb taken to the house. 14-6 vikes.

  76. boyshole25 says: Sep 26, 2013 8:44 PM

    Yuck lose lose

  77. slamajeremiah says: Sep 28, 2013 4:30 PM

    might as well start joe web at qb our season is over already 0 and 16 number 1 overall draft pick

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