Christian Ponder returned to practice Wednesday and appears in line to start Sunday in Seattle. The Vikings quarterback, who suffered a dislocated shoulder last Thursday against Washington, took most of the practice snaps with the first team. Though he was unavailble to the media after practice, he said Monday he expects to play. "I'm pretty sure Christian probably got the majority (of snaps)," Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman said after the workout. "Glad to see he's feeling better. I'm just continuing to do whatever they give me, gobble it up and trying to be as effective as possible." Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said before practice that he wasn't sure if Ponder would be able to go Sunday and that Freeman was a candidate to start. Frazier was unavailable for comment after the workout. Ponder was listed as having been a limited participant in practice but was said to have performed well. That would appear to put Ponder, whose injury was to his non-throwing arm, in line for a fourth straight start and seventh this season. "Ponder looked good," said wide receiver Greg Jennings. "He practiced and (was) getting the game plan in and making some throws." If Ponder starts, that would leave Freeman on the sideline to begin a game for the fourth straight week. Freeman, who signed with the Vikings on Oct. 7 after being waived by Tampa Bay, hasn't played since his disastrous Oct. 21 debut, when he completed just 20 of 53 passes in a 23-7 loss to the Giants in New Jersey. "I'm a competitor," Freeman said. "You live to play on Sundays. You don't live to play throughout the week, although practice is a huge part of it leading up to Sundays. But it's a role that they've placed on me for now, and I'm going to continue to work. And I know the other two guys are going to continue to work, too." The third guy is Matt Cassel. He played the rest of the 34-27 win over the Redskins when Ponder was hurt late in the third quarter while diving for the end-zone pylon in an attempt to score. Freeman signed a $2 million deal for the rest of this season with the Vikings and two weeks later was thrust into action. More than three weeks later, he said he's much better prepared than he had been entering the Giants game. "It's just an overall understanding of the offense," Freeman said. "It was such a narrow focus coming in that first week, and just (about) understanding the exact play. But now (it's) kind of having a grasp of the entire offense and just specific little notes for each play. It's allowed me to go relax and play my game a little more. ... I'm a lot further ahead than I was."
Ponder practices, appears ready for Sunday
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Nov 14