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Josh Freeman’s Concussion Keeps Him Out Of Practice, Ponder Re-Enters Minnesota’s Starting Lineup

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By Joseph Gunther

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Josh Freeman #12 of the Minnesota Vikings is sacked by defensive end Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants during a game at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Credit, Elsa/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings found out Wednesday that quarterback Josh Freeman suffered a concussion during Monday night’s loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

The recently signed quarterback struggled in his Vikings debut and was named the starter Tuesday before practice. However, the concussion-like symptoms will likely keep him from making his Vikings home debut Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

“Obviously he won’t be able to practice today, so he loses a day,” Frazier said. “When you consider the amount of time he’s missed, it probably is going to different. And also looking at the history of guys who have had concussions on a short week that are able to at least get cleared for Sundays, we’ll have to proceed as if he’s not going to make it.”

That means that Christian Ponder will re-claim the starting job for at least one week. Ponder completed 59 of 100 passes for 691 yards and two touchdowns while throwing five interceptions in three games before suffering a rib injury against the Cleveland Browns.

“I just felt like for what Christian had done prior to his injury and his body of work and comparing what Matt (Cassel) had done for the reason for doing it and that was it.”

Ponder missed the Week 4 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and served as the backup to Cassel following the team’s bye week. Ponder and Cassel have served on the first, second and third team units this season while Freeman has prepared with the first and third units.

“It’s important,” Frazier said about having consistency at quarterback. “That quarterback position, you want to know who is lining up week in and week out. This is the circumstance where we are and Christian will do a good job for us on Sunday night.”

Freeman told Frazier Tuesday that believes the injury occurred during the third quarter of Monday’s loss.

“He didn’t say anything about it during the game or even in the post game, but talking to him this morning, he thought it happened somewhere in the third,” Frazier said.

The Vikings are not alone in losing quarterbacks with Ponder already sidelined once with a rib injury and Freeman now suffering a concussion, but the team is not concerned with their protection scheme.

“There are risks at the quarterback position and going to take some hits,” Frazier said. “Those guys are in a vulnerable position a lot of times. It puts a premium on having a good backup because of that. Everybody deals with the same issue at that position.”

The complete injury report:

The Vikings listed running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle), Freeman (concussion) and wide receiver Rodney Smith (hip) as non-participants in Thursday’s practice.

Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (back), linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist), cornerback A.J. Jefferson (ankle) and kicker Blair Walsh (left hamstring) were listed as limited participants in Thursday’s practice.

The Vikings listed defensive end Jared Allen (ankle), offensive tackle Matt Kalil (low back), running back Adrian Peterson (hamstring) and defensive tackle Kevin Williams (knee) as full participants in Thursday’s practice.

For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.

Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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