It wasn't surprising when the Vikings chose not to pick up the fifth-year option on quarterback Christian Ponder's rookie contract. And it was even less surprising when the team traded into the first round to take Teddy Bridgewater.

Now nearly two weeks into training camp, and days after offensive coordinator Norv Turner said that he's excited about Bridgewater's progress, Ponder finds himself third on the depth chart behind the rookie and veteran Matt Cassel.

The 12th overall pick in the 2012 draft is taking the demotion about as well as an be expected.

"Yeah, it is tough," Ponder said, according to Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson. "It's tough not getting reps in practice. I'm a competitor. You want to be the guy who is playing and starting.

"Although I love football and I love playing, to get a picture (from his wife) of my daughter smiling, it makes me smile after practice and it does put things in perspective that football is not everything. So it feels like it came at the right time."

In three NFL seasons, Ponder started 35 games, completed 60 percent of his throws, including 38 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. Over that time, he never ranked higher than 21st in Football Outsiders' QB efficiency metric.

The Vikings host the Raiders in their preseason opener Friday and Ponder is hoping to play in the second half.