By Joseph Gunther
Christian Ponder still hopes to be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings when the team travels to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The third-year quarterback suffered a dislocated shoulder during the team’s victory over the Washington Redskins.
“Honestly, it’s a lot better than I expected to be all week,” Ponder said. “I was a little pessimistic about what was going to happen over the weekend. I was very uncomfortable. I woke up Monday and Tuesday and I kept feeling better and better. Our training staff has done such a great job of getting me to feel better. So I threw it around a lot more than I expected to (Wednesday). And each day it’s going to keep getting better.”
Head coach Leslie Frazier wasn’t so quick to say he would play.
“He did some good things with the limited opportunities we gave him, so we were encouraged by that,” he said. “We’ve got to keep going day-to-day. We’ll see if he has any soreness, if there’s a pain-tolerance issue.”
The Seahawks boast a physical defense with 31 sacks (tied for the fifth in the league). They also have forced 22 turnovers (tied for second most in the league).
“I don’t know how it’s going to feel,” Ponder said. “Obviously, I’m going to get hit at some point. Hopefully not. But we’ll see how it ends up feeling. But I’m sure it will be a little painful and hopefully the Seahawks don’t have a target on it.”
He will not wear extra protection for the hits he will take, with the exception of a typical harness.
“I don’t think I’m going to wear padding,” Ponder said. “I’m going to wear a harness, which people usually wear when they dislocate a shoulder to keep it in place. But I’m not going to wear any extra padding or anything.”
Ponder has thrown for 1,246 yards and five touchdowns while throwing seven interceptions in six games – all starts – this season. He also has 156 rushing yards and four touchdowns while fumbling five times for three turnovers.
“It’s a great opportunity…to show guys you can play with injury, and everybody has the quarterback as the softest position in the room,” Ponder said. “So it’s an opportunity to get out there and show a little toughness.”
The complete injury report:
Minnesota listed running back Adrian Peterson (groin) and tight end Kyle Rudolph (foot) as non-participants in Thursday’s practice.
Running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle), defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (chest), wide receiver Greg Jennings (achilles), offensive tackle Charlie Johnson (elbow/toe) and Ponder (left shoulder) were listed as limited participants in Thursday’s practice.
The Vikings listed cornerback Chris Cook (hamstring), fullback Jerome Felton (back), linebacker Chad Greenway (wrist), linebacker Erin Henderson (illness), offensive tackle Phil Loadholt (concussion) and safety Jamarca Sanford (groin) 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.