Vikings undecided on starting QB

Updated: October 28, 2013, 4:29 PM ET
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- While coach Leslie Frazier said that the Minnesota Vikings have not decided who will start Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, the team has decided which of its three quarterbacks won't be in the lineup at AT&T Stadium.

That would be Matt Cassel, Frazier said Monday.

[+] EnlargeChristian Ponder
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images Christian Ponder started Sunday against the Packers but passed for just 145 yards.

Cassel led the Vikings (1-6) to their only win this season, in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London, and started over Christian Ponder in the game after the bye week, who had been out against Pittsburgh with a rib injury.

Cassel completed 32 of his 44 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown in his second start, against the Carolina Panthers, but threw a pair of interceptions in the loss and hasn't been on the field since.

Ponder completed 14 of 21 passes in Sunday's loss against the Green Bay Packers, with Josh Freeman out because of a concussion, but threw for just 145 yards.

Ponder's performance before he got hurt in September also led to the Vikings trying Cassel, then Freeman, after Ponder was healthy. He threw five interceptions against two touchdowns in the Vikings' first three losses.

"I don't want to discount Matt," Frazier said. "But Christian did some good things in that ballgame yesterday. There are some things he can obviously do better, but it has something to do with it. He has led us to some wins in the past.

"Josh, we brought him here to evaluate him and determine if he could be a guy that could be a potential player for us in the future. So, that's what goes into trying to evaluate the both of them."

Freeman signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Vikings earlier this month. But his first game after two weeks with the Vikings, against the New York Giants, didn't do much to solve the issue, either. He completed just 20 of his 53 passes in that loss, becoming the second quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger to attempt 50 or more passes and throw for less than 200 yards.

Freeman said his inaccuracy could be blamed partly on nerves and partly on the fact he'd had so little time to develop a rapport with his receivers. He also said he was able to run on Saturday for the first time without experiencing concussion symptoms since getting hurt against the Giants.

Freeman was asked if the start against the Giants had left him with second thoughts about returning to the lineup after so little time to learn the Vikings' system.

"I wouldn't say my opinions have changed," Freeman said. "I feel like I can go out and compete and give our team a chance to win, and that's this week, any week. I just want to prepare as well as I can, and ultimately go out and play well."

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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