Concussion or not, Freeman needed to take a seat

AP

The circumstances surrounding the concussion suffered by Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman are curious, to say the least.  He was fine during Monday night’s game, and by all appearances he was OK at his post-game press conference.

Presumably, nothing was amiss on the flight from New York (OK, New Jersey) back to Minnesota.  As of Tuesday, coach Leslie Frazier said Freeman would start Sunday night’s game against the Packers.

Then, on Wednesday, Frazier announced out of the blue that Freeman has a concussion.  As explained during Thursday’s PFT Live, the situation has sparked legitimate skepticism about whether Freeman actually has a concussion.  I’m not accusing the Vikings or Freeman of faking it.  But it’s an honest question to consider.  Teams have been known to manipulate injury reports and twist truth for strategic reasons in the past.  Here, a well-timed injury to Freeman allows the Vikings to give him more time to learn the offense, and then to re-insert him when he’s ready.

With the alternative being an admission that the Vikings shoved Freeman onto the field before he was ready, a concussion or any other injury would be strongly preferred.

Of course, some believe that Freeman may be faking it.  Rodney Harrison of Football Night in America raised the possibility during a recent appearance on NBC Sports Radio.

“I can’t say that I believe he has a concussion,” Harrison said.  “I can’t say that I’m 100 percent sold on it.  I’m not trying to doubt the seriousness of his injury if he has one, but it just seems like a convenient excuse to get out of a situation.  That’s what it seems like.  Because maybe he’s looking around [and] saying, ‘You know what, maybe Greg Jennings is not as good as I thought.  Maybe this wide receiving corps [isn’t as good as I thought].  Adrian Peterson is struggling.  Heck, I just want out of this situation.  I can’t wait for this season to end.'”

It’s unlikely Freeman wants to shut it down for the year, given that he’ll be a free agent in March.  At most, in our view, he’d be hoping to buy some time and learn the offense a little better, so that he can play a lot better before hitting the market.

And we know that he doesn’t know the offense very well because, for starters, the results speak for themselves.  Also, the ever-positive (when on the air) Jon Gruden repeatedly called out the Vikings during Monday night’s game for rushing Freeman to the field.

“I don’t think it’s fair to [offensive coordinator] Bill Musgrave, I don’t think it’s fair to the head coach, Leslie Frazier, and it’s certainly not fair to Josh Freeman,” Gruden said during the broadcast.  “He’s been here for two weeks.  There’s no way he knows where all these receivers are supposed to be.  This is not Major League Baseball where you trade a third baseman and put him in the lineup and bat him fifth.

“Bill Musgrave had to meet with Josh Freeman and find out what plays does Freeman like.  Here’s the plays that we run.  Now, let’s put the plays in that we both think will work against the Giants on Monday Night Football.  Give me a break!”

Before the start of the second half, Gruden argued that Frazier should put Christian Ponder in the game, in an effort to try to win it.  Early in the third quarter, Gruden made an observation that possibly hit the bull’s eye.

“Pretty soon, some of these Vikings players are gonna walk up and say, ‘Hey coach, let’s try to win this game.’  And I think to do that you’re gonna need a little more arsenal than Freeman’s ready for right now. . . .  I appreciate all the things Freeman has been through. . . .  This is very sophisticated, complex football and I just don’t know how much longer they can stay with Freeman in all fairness to the rest of these Vikings.”

The Vikings aren’t staying with Freeman, officially due to the concussion.  Whether the truth is something else doesn’t matter.  It’s what needed to happen, and now it has.

75 responses to “Concussion or not, Freeman needed to take a seat

  1. C’mon. It is obviously a PR concussion. They were getting CRUSHED for starting him before he had chance to learn anything about the team by every single sports commentator there was and then, abracadabra! a concussion is pulled out of thin air to try to quiet things down.

  2. Freeman stinks, that is that Rodney no need to overthink it. Also concussion or no concussion he stunk up the joint Monday night, best he take a seat.

  3. Wow. Can’t a guy get hurt. Talk about an old school mentality. A true regression.
    The next sentence may as well have been, concussions aren’t real, shake it off.
    Conspiracy theorists look out.

  4. Josh Freeman can’t really be blamed for this situation. Not entirely.

    He starts 12 days after arriving in a new city…on the road! On Monday Night Football, no less!

    If the Vikings were smart, they’d have waited at least one more week to give him time to learn the plays, get to know his teammates, and start at home. Yes, home boobirds aren’t fun, but at least he’d be in a friendly stadium and have the crowd behind him, and it’d be some innocuous 1:15 or 4pm game that nobody would watch.

  5. Does anyone really care what Rodney Harrison has to say? The guy is just as clueless as Marshall Faulk and seems to come up with a conspiracy theory about every week. I’m also skeptical of the “concussion” but I cant agree with anything that comes out of Harrison’s mouth.

  6. Has anyone heard Freeman say he has a concussion? I haven’t. It seems unfair to say he’s faking a concussion when he hasn’t said he has one.

    He played poorly by starting quarterback standards. But it was obvious he wasn’t prepared to play yet. That’s a coaching error. So now the coach might need an excuse not to play him again so soon.

  7. Questioning the injury is stupid and simply trying to create a controversy. As many hits as he took in that game its no surprise he was concussed. Was it a mistake to put him in that soon after joining the team: absolutely. But we don’t need a bunch of conspiracy theories to explain this. Freeman is the starter when he is healthy. That is absolutely clear, for better or for worse.

  8. Whatever it takes, I just want a win..I’d like to hope the benching of Ponder is the final wake-up call for him, but it’s awful difficult at this point….

    “With the third pick in the 2014 Draft, The Minnesota Vikings select best available QB”

  9. I think Joss might have hurt himself more with the questionable concussion business than playing next week and stinking up the joint again. I don’t want to questionable man’s injuries but this looked a bit too convenient of a way to brush off his lousy play. I hope it didn’t come from his handlers, which it probably did. Do you want a guy that had a terrible game, or a guy making excuses not to play? A lot of money and his future in the NFL is a stake.

  10. All they had to say was that they tried to see if he was ready and he wasn’t. That’s it. No embarrassment for anybody and no water-cooler talk about lying or being shady. The truth is much easier to pull off than a lie so why not start with that?

    Like him or not, Ponder gave them the best chance at winning that game. If they didn’t know that going in, they definitely knew it by halftime…and they left him on the bench. Maybe Freeman will be the best QB on their roster after he learns the playbook but he isn’t right now. Everybody slams Schiano, but look at what Freeman has done over the last several games. Folks, Tim Tebow would have been far more accurate than Freeman was.

    Schiano had little faith in Freeman and it is clear why. He could be a decent QB but it takes effort to learn a new playbook and Freeman sure didn’t show much effort or work ethic in Tampa. He wasn’t there long but he was missing throws to guys standing still before his release. Buffalo has brought guys off the practice squad and the street that looked better than Freeman did.

  11. In Gruden’s defense, apparently he’s never witnessed “Musgrave Football” which is ridiculously close to “ChillyBall”.

    The limited play book he was pulling from, is ironically the same playbook he was using when Ponder was the starting QB.

    Which was also the same playbook as Cassell Ball.

    Did Freeman have some troubles with Accuracy? yes. But the Vikings trouble go A LOT further than that.

  12. Come on. In the post game press conference, Freeman mentioned about how he was just a hair off on his overthrows. Did you see them? Or course his injury occurred during the game. JustAHairOff was trending worldwide on Twitter on Tuesday.

  13. I have spoken about Minny. being terrible when it comes to developing QBs.

    Great example right here, they bring a guy in throw him into the fire. Pull him out of the fire but the burns are still going to be there.

    On top of that, regardless of who was right in TB between coach and players whatever. He still has that in the back of his head.

    This has the making of Vince Young 2.0.

    Then wonder why Jeff Fisher won’t bring him to QB the Rams for another dose.

  14. There is only one word that comes to mind, inept. Be it Coaches, Front Office and/or Ownership its on all really. How can you ask anyone on this team despite the fact they are getting paid to risk a serious injury playing for people that are making these types of decisions? They have not only ruined a season but in the long run they will have also ruined Petersons chances of ever coming close to any rushing title. Last season their decision making was already in question. This is the same staff that thought Joe Webb was a viable Backup QB. I am a lifelong Vikings/NFL fan, I have never seen anything more ridiculous in my life. There simply cannot be enough criticism of this situation.

  15. Of course this is a ruse..we are not stupid. In the end it wont matter this team is totally shot for this year and now needs to rebuild. There is really very little to keep other then the kickers and maybe AD but even he is not looking to hot anymore. But the first thing that needs to go is ALL the coaches and Spielman. Then let the new coaches pick and choose the 50% or less that stays and ditch the rest. Rebuild through the draft without Spielman. This is the worst mess in Vikingland in decades and is really sad for the fine people of MN.

  16. I’m a Tampa fan (not so great right now) – but – wasn’t sorry to see Freeman go. Kid…can’t pull the trigger – Captain Checkdown. No confidence. Sure – some of that may be with the coaching in TB – but, guess we will see. He has an ARM if you let him use it.
    If I were the coach in Minnesota – I would say he has a concussion too – considering how he played. Couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn – from inside the barn….

  17. There is a power struggle going on. Frazier wanted to stick with Ponder. After 0-3 Spielman (GM) got nervous and forced Cassel. Cassel won. Forced Frazier (Ponder is starter when healthy) to start him next week…oooh shiny toy, get Freeman for dirt. Cassel fails badly. Spielman in PR nightmare forces Freeman…Remember the HEAD COACH said he wanted a determination on Wed. of who would be QB (Frazier pushing back). Immediately after MNF Frazier says we’ll look at film to determine who’s QB next week. Tuesday he commits. More PR of Vikings stupid/abuse/pathetic performance in press. Spielman relents. Ponder starts.

  18. Well isn’t this PFT putting a different hat on their head. With all the talk of players not wanting to admit to concussions because they want to play, you come up with an article completely contrary to your normal position. Even if Freeman only had a mild headache, the league is supposed to be looking for these guys to sit out.

    When the media comes out and accuses them of faking it for some other reason, you only further encourage players not to say anything. You don’t know how Freeman’s flight home was. You don’t have any information that he was normal or without symptoms. You simply speculated that he was fine, until “out of the blue” Frazier reported he had a concussion.

    In an age where legitimate hits are flagged and fined in the name of “player safety”, one might think the media would limit their speculation on players “faking” head injuries to learn the offense.

  19. Wonder if the original decision to play Freeman was Fraziers or if an order came down from above. Doesn’t sound like a coach-like decision. If it was from Spielman, the Vikings have a real problem. If it came from above Spielman, the Vikings have a real BIG problem….

  20. No way Free has a concussion. Frazier trying to save face.

    On second thought… maybe frees had a concussion since 2010. Would explain the inability to meet his contractual obligations.
    ie; photos, meetings, kid camps, passes, etc

  21. So Leslie Frazier and Bill Musgrave DECIDE to use Freeman before he is ready…Freeman stinks it up…and Gruden says that starting Freeman was “not fair” to Frazier and Musgrave?

    What a joke!

    What is Gruden saying? That Zygi Wilg MADE them start Freeman?

    Puh-leeaze

  22. Maybe Jennings is using his previously learned brainwashing skills to convince management Ponder is the best of the lot…..which apparently is true.

    Regardless, the Packers would be wise not to take this game lightly. Ponder is playing for his career and the career of his coach. If the Packers fall into one of their melancholic stupors……which happens…..it would be embarrassing to lose, knowing they have superior talent across the board. But that is why they play the games…..

  23. It was strange to only have AD get 13 attempts–why not let Gerhart get some work in. After all he was a 2nd round pick. If they can’t rely on Gerhart when AD is less than 100 why is he on the roster.

  24. Take a seat??

    He needs to play.

    He must play.

    That’s the only way the Vikings are going to figure out if they want him around next year.

  25. other than pinning his contract hopes banking on Freeman, Frazier had made a huge mis-calculation.
    the concussion fiasco is sounding fishy too, but, the NFL does not play around with injuries anymore.
    I mean for goodness sakes, a fathead blonde chick on gb’s defense has a thumb cast.

  26. Really, the Viking coaches are worried about looking stupid?

    That long boat has sailed Leslie.

  27. Concussed or not, Josh Freeman has lost the will to play the game. When Freeman was a rookie he did good things. His second year showed him progressing into an NFL talent. Then, all the sudden he realized he was rich beyond his wildest dreams, and his mind decided that he could cruise through few more years and bank some big cash. He is like a lot of other players who played for the money and not the love of the game.

  28. Of course the concussion issue is a joke, the entire 2013 Viking season is a bigger joke.

    The sad part is that even with a top 5 pick in the draft, Spielman will find a way to blow that pick. Its like Lucy in the Charlie Brown cartoons, she will pull the ball back just as sure as Spielman will make the wrong pick.

  29. I don’t believe in the concussion thing for one moment. Both Freeman and Frazier took so much heat for that display this is made up later to try and cover some of the embarrassment.

  30. I don’t believe for one minute he was concussed. This is the franchise backtracking. They are embarrassed. Either way I hope they beat GB this weekend, my Bears need all the help they can get with Jay out.

  31. My my how conflicted Viking fans must be. Which qb do they root for to play, which gives them the least likely chance to win? Who do you actually root for in this upcoming game with the Packers? If you win a couple more games it will take you out of the qb derby come draft time. How sacriligous to root for the Pack or wish for your team to lose. Six games in this is were they are at, no wondering about division title or playoffs, but wondering how few games they will win to draft in the top 5. Sad situation there right now.

  32. Freeman wasn’t ready to take the helm, and honestly, I’m surprised the coaches didn’t realize that prior the game Monday night. Signing him for $2 million was not a smart move. Freeman is damages goods, and he’s the one who needs to prove he can play professionally.

    The Vikings weren’t trying to win Monday night. If they had been, they would have yanked Freeman at halftime and put Ponder or Cassel in. Unless Frazier wanted to guarantee his firing at year’s end (along with Speilman), he had no choice now but to bench him.

  33. gb4mn0 says:
    Oct 25, 2013 5:53 AM
    On Super Bowl Sunday this entire vikqueen’s season will be featured in a 1 hour special on MTV’s show “Ridiculousness.”

    *****************************************
    yes yes, and right after that they’ll show the 15 years 73-88 seasons of packers football where they didnt win more then 8 games in a season, or maybe they’ll show the 05 packers season where you all had a HOF qb an still managed to go 4-12….get over you’re self packers have sucked quite a bit

  34. Ferdinand says: Oct 24, 2013 11:32 PM

    C’mon. It is obviously a PR concussion. They were getting CRUSHED for starting him before he had chance to learn anything about the team by every single sports commentator there was and then, abracadabra! a concussion is pulled out of thin air to try to quiet things down.
    —————————————————–
    Ah yes…the old “PR concussion” move…if I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. That old gag is as tired as the “PR turf toe” and “PR sports hernia.”

  35. jagsfan1 says:
    Oct 25, 2013 6:37 AM
    So Leslie Frazier and Bill Musgrave DECIDE to use Freeman before he is ready…Freeman stinks it up…and Gruden says that starting Freeman was “not fair” to Frazier and Musgrave?

    What a joke!

    What is Gruden saying? That Zygi Wilg MADE them start Freeman?

    Puh-leeaze
    _______________________________
    My guess is that he’s implying that the GM wanted Freeman and it wascoming from him, or he would have included Spielman in that “not fair” comment.
    All I know is that Gruden rarely makes any type of critical comment on air when he’s announcing so it appears he felt very strongly about it.

  36. Wow! Packer fan comments are actually true AND funny! This year has completely exposed our team from players to coaches to front office. They all are just a hair off.

  37. stellarperformance says:

    Regardless, the Packers would be wise not to take this game lightly. Ponder is playing for his career and the career of his coach. If the Packers fall into one of their melancholic stupors……which happens…..it would be embarrassing to lose, knowing they have superior talent across the board. But that is why they play the games…..
    ————————————————————
    How dare you say anything negative about the Packers! Your fanship has hereby been revoked. Turn in your fake stock shares immediately.

  38. Ponder hasn’t played in a while (*he was #3 on the depth chart just last week).

    And he doesn’t have the world’s strongest or most accurate arm, anyway.

    His throws may not be any more on target than Freeman’s.

  39. Freeman does not have a concussion, but what he does have is the smartest agent in the world. He sucks, he got ran out of Tampa when they would not extend his contract and made him play out the last year. He through a whiny baby fit and stopped playing. Genius agent sees that, tells him to do the ESPN interview, knowing it will get him cut, gets him a deal in MN. He sucks on Monday night but now has the “not enough time to learn the offense” excuse, agent tells him to fake a concussion so that no more crappy game tape can be put out on his terrible client. Then next season he has every excuse in place to get his crappy, inconsistent, inaccurate client another fat payday. Freeman will not play another down this year.

  40. If you were surprised at how badly the Vikings played and the outcome of that game then maybe football isn’t the sport for you. Maybe try some pro wrestling. I hear the Hulkster is still rasslin! Give it a go!

    In actuality I thought the game would be worse for Freeman. Not due to lack of talent, but NOBODY learns enough of the offense in a week and a half to be effective. I have a Vike fan buddy (everybody should sponsor at least 1, I sponsor 2!) And he was convinced Freeman would have an amazing game and they’d blow out the Giants. That’s just silly. No matter how I tried to explain it he just would not budge. That is why that fan base will never clamor for more. They are convinced they are a breath away from a championship. That’s just really sad…….so won’t you join me fellow football fans and help bring in these poor souls from the cold! With your help we can change the lives of these lost and delusional fools. 😀

  41. genxjay

    When you look in the Vikings trophy case, how many Super Bowl trophies do you see? From your delusional posts, I’m guessing you actually see a few…

  42. filipinoviking says: Oct 25, 2013 2:02 AM

    There is a power struggle going on. Frazier wanted to stick with Ponder. After 0-3 Spielman (GM) got nervous and forced Cassel. Cassel won. Forced Frazier (Ponder is starter when healthy) to start him next week…oooh shiny toy, get Freeman for dirt. Cassel fails badly. Spielman in PR nightmare forces Freeman…Remember the HEAD COACH said he wanted a determination on Wed. of who would be QB (Frazier pushing back). Immediately after MNF Frazier says we’ll look at film to determine who’s QB next week. Tuesday he commits. More PR of Vikings stupid/abuse/pathetic performance in press. Spielman relents. Ponder starts.

    ———————————————————-

    Perfect, that’s exactly what’s happening. They both need to go.

  43. Whether he actually has a concussion or not…Hows Freeman suppose to learn the offense if he cant practice because he hasn’t passed the concussion test?

  44. This is just another indictment on the Viking’s brain trust. As Gruden basically said, you have to put the players in a position to succeed. 53 throws in a game when you have AP shouldn’t happen no matter who is the QB, let alone one that has been there a couple weeks.

  45. If they were going to fake an injury wouldn’t they pick something else other than a concussion? Every NFL player has a baseline test for their “brain” and if concussed there test will be much different, and isn’t it NFL protocol for all players to be continually tested if a concussion is involved?

    Another thing to take into consideration with concussions is if a player’s test is different than there baseline test, they aren’t able to practice or even do any physical activity or exercising. Doesn’t Freeman need ALL the practice time he can get at this point? Fake a left shoulder injury so he can at least still practice and throw but can’t play due to “concern over making it worse”.
    Like or dislike and I could be wrong on NFL concussion protocol but….just my two cents.

  46. Cassel, Ponder and Freeman also don’t play quarterback for the Defense. The middle linebacker in the quarterback of the Defense and the Vikings have no middle linebacker. Erin Henderson has never been a middle linebacker, is not a middle linebacker and never will be a middle linebacker. That’s the biggest problem for this team outside of its cornerbacks and the offensive coordinator.

    Enjoy your easy victory Packer fans, hopefully Rodgers breaks a leg. Or two.

  47. Making fun of the death of a child, making fun of a bridge collapse that killed people, and making fun of an NFL lineman who died because of heatstroke make the majority of Packer fans the real scum in life. Pathetic. Packers.

  48. Frazier28/7 says:
    Oct 25, 2013 6:05 PM
    Making fun of the death of a child, making fun of a bridge collapse that killed people, and making fun of an NFL lineman who died because of heatstroke make the majority of Packer fans the real scum in life. Pathetic. Packers.

    —–

    Making fun of Brett Favre’s dad’s death?

    Vikings fans.

    Again, you lose (win)?

    Terrible fans. Worse people.

  49. gmsalpha says:
    Oct 24, 2013 11:48 PM
    Josh Freeman can’t really be blamed for this situation. Not entirely.

    He starts 12 days after arriving in a new city…on the road! On Monday Night Football, no less!

    If the Vikings were smart, they’d have waited at least one more week to give him time to learn the plays, get to know his teammates, and start at home. Yes, home boobirds aren’t fun, but at least he’d be in a friendly stadium and have the crowd behind him, and it’d be some innocuous 1:15 or 4pm game that nobody would watch.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————— it’d be a 1:15 or 4pm game that nobody would see?? umm sunday night football against a division rival in greenbay?? yep nobody will be watching… smh

  50. Frazier28/7 says:
    Oct 25, 2013 6:05 PM
    Making fun of the death of a child, making fun of a bridge collapse that killed people, and making fun of an NFL lineman who died because of heatstroke make the majority of Packer fans the real scum in life. Pathetic. Packers.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————- making fun of that is sick and inhumane, however saying that it was the majority of packers fans is ignorant. you sir need to take a step back from blogging world.

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