Ponder remains Vikings’ starter
EDEN PRAIRIE — The Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback carousel appears to be stuck on Christian Ponder.
For the record, the records of the three guys who have started this season are: Ponder (0-5), Josh Freeman (0-1) and Matt Cassel (1-1).
Freeman is the quarterback the Vikings signed Oct. 6 in hopes they could evaluate him during the season. He got one start — a hurried-up process in which he faced the Giants on Monday Night Football despite having practiced only four time with the first unit — and it was a disaster of 37.7 percent completion proportions.
A concussion to Freeman in that game forced Ponder back into the lineup, where he’s stayed the past two weeks. He completed a season-high 67.6 percent of his passes in the 27-23 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, but once again misfired on a critical throw late in the game, stopping the clock and allowing the Cowboys more time for their game-winning 90-yard drive.
Ponder will start for the third consecutive game when the Vikings play the Redskins at home on Thursday night. Coach Leslie Frazier said that’s the plan, but probably wouldn’t have had time to make a change back to Freeman considering the short week.
“I don’t see why we would make a change,” Frazier said. “Sometimes after ballgames you make emotional decisions, but I don’t see anything that tells me he shouldn’t start against the Redskins.”
Asked if he thinks the team needs some stability at quarterback, Ponder said, “It’s what I need.”
Notes: Running back Adrian Peterson was happy to see offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave re-commit to the running game after a three-week stretch in which the league MVP got only 36 carries.
“That’s one thing we wanted to focus on coming into the game — establishing the run, keep pounding, keep pounding, put us in better positions for third down,” Peterson said.
Peterson had 25 carries for 140 yards and an 11-yard touchdown. The score came on fourth-and-1 and featured four broken tackles and Peterson carrying two defenders into the end zone with him.
“I was very determined, especially because we went for it in the first half on fourth-and-1 and came up short,” Peterson said. “I felt like no matter what, I’ve got to make that happen. Whether the blocking is there or not, I’ve got to get one yard. The guys up front, they did a great job of blocking and getting a push and I was trying to get to the end zone any way possible.”
Peterson, a native of nearby Palestine, Texas, bought 80 tickets for family and friends.
“I was like, ‘We’ve got to win today,’ especially with how much I spent for these tickets,” Peterson said.