Friday, January 4, 2013
On Christian Ponder's 'questionable' elbow
By Kevin Seifert
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Good evening from the site of Saturday night's wild-card playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. The drive over was smooth. Thanks for asking. All I have to say is that the difference between a car with satellite radio and without is pretty much the same as good and evil.
As I was puttering over here, to a nice toggle of "E Street Radio" and "The Blend," the Vikings listed quarterback Christian Ponder as questionable on their final injury report of the week. We already knew that Ponder was limited in practice this week by an elbow injury he suffered last Sunday, but the "questionable" designation added a bit more gravity to the situation. Technically, it means Ponder has a 50-50 chance of playing Saturday night.
I did a little snooping this evening, and here's what I can tell you: Ponder's injury is more than a simple bump or bruise, but if there is real concern about his ability to play, it's being kept well under wraps. The injury might be significant enough for the Vikings to have No. 3 quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson in uniform for the first time this season, but it would be a real surprise if Ponder doesn't start, as ESPN's John Clayton reports.
It's fair to wonder how the game would be affected if Ponder departs, considering the unique skills of No. 2 quarterback Joe Webb -- who has played only three snaps this season but confounded opponents in 2010 and 2011 with his open-field running ability. Webb could be a wild-card factor in a game between two familiar teams, but based on what we've seen from coach Leslie Frazier this season, there is no reason to think the Vikings are looking for an excuse to get Webb on the field. Frazier stuck with Ponder during his worst days of the season, so why would he to turn to Webb now?
We'll continue poking around Saturday, and I'll update the blog as warranted.