In three games this season, Christian Ponder is completing just 59-percent of his passes and has thrown just two touchdowns with five interceptions.
The Minnesota Vikings are 0-3 in games started by Ponder. Ponder’s backup, Matt Cassel, led the Vikings to their first victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4 and the team just brought in Josh Freeman to add to the quarterback mix.
However, General Manager Rick Spielman says that’s not a reflection on their thoughts of Ponder. During a conference call with reporters Monday night, Spielman tried to paint the move to acquire Freeman as purely a move to improve the overall collection of talent on their roster and not an indication of any lessened faith in their former first-round pick.
“I’ve spoken with Christian. I’ve spoken with Matt. I’ve spoken with [McLeod] Bethel[-Thompson] as well and Josh knows the situation as well. This is no determination on where Christian Ponder is. We think Christian Ponder has a bright future,” Spielman said.
“Part of my job is to make sure I’m trying get the best 53 players on this roster. At the end of the season, we’ll make an evaluation like we always do and determine that going forward but by no means is this a reflection on we’re disappointed in Christian Ponder or disappointed in Matt Cassel or disappointed in Bethel, it was just an opportunity to go out and add another football player that we have high regard for.”
Spielman said they intend on keeping Ponder on the roster and have no intention of making further moves with their quarterbacks, though he was less definitive on Bethel-Thompson. The team does still need to make a roster move following the addition of Freeman and carrying four quarterbacks isn’t very commonplace.
The Vikings may still have high hopes and belief in Christian Ponder to be the quarterback they envisioned he could become. However, the Vikings are giving themselves multiple options to turn to if he’s not.