Shark Bites

2 years ago

FOX's Jay Glazer reports that the Minnesota Vikings have reached a deal with QB Matt Cassel. The former Chiefs starter played his way out of the lineup in K.C. and then got released today. He's a big upgrade over Joe Webb, however, as Christian Ponder's backup. If Ponder struggles early the season the way he did late last year, Cassel will quicky become one of the most popular Vikings. Ideally, Cassel's presence will push Ponder to improve his game. Minnesota needs to significantly upgrade its WR corps to help ou the QBs, though.

Update: Adam Schefter reports that Cassel will compete with Ponder for the starting job. We give Ponder the edge on upside.

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2 years ago

Vikings QB Christian Ponder (elbow) is inactive for tonight’s game at Green Bay. It’s a shocking turn of events, as he was tentatively expected to start all week. A dynamic Joe Webb will fill-in and make his first start of the season.

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According to insider Jay Glazer, Vikings QB Joe Webb took all the 1st-team reps in practice this week.  QB Christian Ponder (elbow) was limited to mental reps.  The team reportedly hasn't even been told who will start tonight, although Glazer says the team expects Ponder to be able to play.  Webb would actually give Minnesota another dimension with his legs, but he'd be in a tough spot making his first start of the season at Lambeau Field in the playoffs.  We'll have Ponder's official status around 7 pm ET.  Regardless of who starts, expect a ton of RB Adrian Peterson.

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Vikings HC Leslie Frazier revealed that Christian Ponder is locked-in as the team's starting QB. "We're going into it with Christian being our starting quarterback," Frazier said. "If something were to happen to Christian because of injury, we feel like we have a capable backup in Joe (Webb). But there's no competition as to, 'Joe has to do this to beat out Christian.' Christian, it's his job. We're trusting that he's going to be the guy to lead us to where we want to go this next season." Although he flashed good arm strength and mobility in 10 starts last year, Ponder finished with a 54% completion rate and 13 TDs to 13 INTs. He'll need to improve his decision-making and accuracy in order to become a fantasy factor in 2012. The job security is nice, but Ponder is still only a late-round flier in drafts this summer.

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3 years ago

Vikings HC Leslie Frazier confirmed that Joe Webb will be staying at QB.  The team had been experimenting with him at WR, but Webb showed big-time progress as a passer last year.  He completed 54% of his passes with 3 TDs and 2 INTs over the final 4 weeks.  He's probably not a real threat to QB Christian Ponder's starting job coming out of training camp, but Webb's upside will definitely shorten Ponder's leash.

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3 years ago

Vikings QB Christian Ponder is symptom-free after sustaining a concussion in Saturday's game against the Redskins.  "He’s doing excellent today, really doesn’t have any symptoms and I hope for a fast and speedy recovery," Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman said.  HC Leslie Frazier also confimed that Ponder is still his starter if healthy.  He'll need to make it through the week without a setback, but consider Ponder the early favorite to start against the Bears this Sunday.

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3 years ago

Entering for a concussed Christian Ponder early in the 3rd quarter of Saturday's game against the Redskins, Vikings QB Joe Webb led his squad to 23 2nd-half points and a victory.  Webb attempted just 5 passes but completed 4 for 84 yards and 2 scores.  He added 34 yards and another TD on the ground.  "Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it," HC Leslie Frazier said.  "Magic. He's gifted, man," added WR Percy Harvin.  Saturday's performance came on the heels of another impressive outing back in Week 14.  In that one, Webb completed 12 of 23 balls for 84 yards and 1 TD, adding another 109 and a score on the ground.  He's still raw as a passer, but his ability to make plays with his legs gives him plenty of fantasy upside.  If Webb gets the start against the Bears this weekend, he'll be an intriguing option in 2-QB leagues.  We'll track Ponder's recovery from that concussion.

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3 years ago

Vikings QB Christian Ponder sustained a concussion in the 3rd quarter of Saturday's game against the Redskins.  He's been ruled out for the remainder of the game.  QB Joe Webb has entered in Ponder's place.

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Vikings QB Christian Ponder was pulled in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Lions.  It's unclear if he re-injured that hip or if he was benched for performance.  Ponder finished 11 of 21 for 115 yards with 2 TDs, 3 INTs, and 1 fumble lost.  2 of Ponder's turnovers were taken back for scores by the Detroit defense.  QB Joe Webb will close out the game under center.

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3 years ago

Vikings QB Christian Ponder (hip) returned to a very limited practice on Friday, but QB Joe Webb took almost all of the 1st-team reps.  Ponder is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision for Sunday's tilt with the Lions.  The rook admits that he won't be close to 100% if he plays.  "I think it's a matter of my effectiveness," Ponder said.  "I don't know how effective I'd be. I would like to think that I'd be playing 100 percent, but I don't know if that's 100 percent true. We'll see."  He's not a fantasy option this week.

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Vikings QB Christian Ponder (hip) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday.  It sounds like the injury is more serious than the team initially believed.  HC Leslie Frazier is hoping to get Ponder on the practice field Friday.  If not, he won't play against the Lions Sunday.  “If he’s not able to do anything (in practice on Friday) I’d be hard-pressed for us to get him in the game," Frazier said.  If Ponder can't go, QB Joe Webb would start, downgrading Minnesota's passing attack.

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Vikings QB Christian Ponder suffered a hip pointer during Sunday's game against the Broncos.  He didn't miss any snaps in that one, and he should be able to play against the Lions this coming weekend.  If he can't go, QB Joe Webb would get the start.  We'll have a Ponder practice update on Wednesday.

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4 years ago

Vikings rookie Christian Ponder has beaten out Joe Webb for the team's backup QB job.  Webb was actually a bit better in preseason action, but Ponder gets the nod because of his 1st-round pedigree.  The important note here is that Donovan McNabb is securely locked-in as Minneosta's starter.

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Vikings rookie Christian Ponder is still battling with Joe Webb for the team's backup QB job.  Ponder will start the team's final preseason game and play the entire 1st half.  Webb will play the 2nd half.  "We definitely want to see both [quarterbacks], Christian along with Joe, create some separation for that No. 2 spot," HC Leslie Frazier said. "Maybe this game will be an indication of which guy should be No. 2."  Ponder should eventually win the job, but the takeaway here is that he's not pushing QB Donovan McNabb for the starting spot.

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The Vikings selected Florida St. QB Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. It was a reach, but Minnesota was desperate for QB help. Joe Webb was never a realistic candidate to start, and there were no guarantees that the Vikes would be able to land a veteran on the open market. Ponder is injury-prone and lacks ideal arm strength, but he's an accurate passer and is widely-regarded as the most NFL-ready QB in this year's draft class. That's important for the Vikings, whose window to make a run at the Super Bowl is closing. Ponder immediately upgrades the fantasy outlooks of RB Adrian Peterson and WR Percy Harvin.

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With each additional day this lockout lasts, Vikings QB Joe Webb's chances of opening the 2011 season as the starter continue to grow.  Minnesota would love to add a veteran QB like Kevin Kolb or Kyle Orton.  But with a roster freeze in place, they may be forced to address the issue in the draft.  And you have to think Webb would have a chance to beat out a rookie for the starting job.  HC Leslie Frazier confirmed that it'll be an open competition this summer.  "We like Joe," Frazier said.  "We like some of the things he did at the end of last season. We're going to give him a chance to compete for that starting job as well. It's open. We hope to have a young guy, and maybe a veteran guy. But it's going to be open competition."  Webb has some upside, but he's still extremely raw.  If he ends up starting, Minnesota's passing game could be in trouble.

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4 years ago

Vikings HC Leslie Frazier hinted that the team may be looking to take a QB in this April's NFL Draft.  "I think we all want a young quarterback that we can develop and build our franchise around," Frazier said. "That would be ideal, to find the next Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco."  Minnesota holds the 12th overall pick and may be able to land Auburn's Cam Newton or Arkansas' Ryan Mallet.  Meanwhile, it looks like the organization views QB Joe Webb only as a backup.

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