NFC North: McCleod Bethel-Thompson

Reviewing Friday night's events at Ralph Wilson Stadium:

Buffalo Bills 20, Minnesota Vikings 16

Preseason record: 0-2

Of interest: The evening began with left tackle Matt Kalil getting beat for a sack by Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, and it didn't get much better, at least for a Vikings offense that again played without tailback Adrian Peterson. Coaches got quarterback Christian Ponder five series of work, but he took two sacks and was jumpy enough to complete only 5-of-12 passes for 53 yards. He led a 62-yard scoring drive, ending in a Blair Walsh's 36-yard field goal, but otherwise the Vikings gained a total of 20 yards on his other possessions. (Walsh earlier missed from 49 yards.) The Bills' rush was active, and center John Sullivan launched an early shotgun snap to scuttle one play, but all quarterbacks face adversity during the season. Ponder needed to react better and at times quicker Friday night. If you were hoping for an anxiety-relieving performance from him, this wasn't it. … Three of Ponder's completions went to tight end Kyle Rudolph, who also dropped an easy third-down pass. … The Vikings' defense played well against an equally underwhelming performance from Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb. Safety Jamarca Sanford intercepted a pass tipped by cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and linebacker Desmond Bishop showed up several times in extensive playing time -- albeit mostly with the third team. But he was also the closest defender on Brad Smith's 4-yard touchdown pass from EJ Manuel in the third quarter. … Punter Jeff Locke dropped three punts inside the 20, two of which were downed by special-teams hopeful Bobby Felder. … No. 3 quarterback McCleod Bethel-Thompson's 10-of-17 performance was, if nothing else, a nice showing to put on tape if the Vikings elect to keep two quarterbacks. … Receiver Jarius Wright suffered a concussion and did not play after halftime.

Up next: Aug. 25 at San Francisco 49ers.

Christian Ponder update: bursitis

January, 5, 2013
1/05/13
3:38
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Based on what I can see on social media, many of you have been whipped into a frenzy by discussion of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder's sore right elbow. Before heading over to Lambeau Field, I just wanted to reiterate that we have no evidence that Ponder will miss Saturday night's wild-card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers.

Ponder
Ponder
Here's what we do know: As we discussed Friday night, Ponder's injury is worse than your basic bump and bruise. In fact, Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com reported Ponder has bursitis, an injury that Ponder dealt with while in college at Florida State which can lead to fluid buildup and reduced flexibility.

I haven't been able to find anyone connected with the Vikings who thinks Ponder won't start the game. I can't rule out that possibility, however, and FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer reported that the Vikings' three quarterbacks -- Ponder, Joe Webb and McCleod Bethel-Thompson -- will head to Lambeau Field early to make a final determination.

This story sneaked up on us mostly because the injury didn't subside over the course of the week, as everyone seemed to expect it to. I'll be at Lambeau Field soon and will report whatever I find out. But again, it would be a quick turn of events if the injury prevents Ponder from starting.

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NFC NORTH SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 9/21
Monday, 9/22