The Minnesota Vikings paid Josh Freeman $3 million to see if he could be the team’s quarterback of the future, but he hasn’t seen the field since his horrible Monday night debut against the New York Giants in Week 7. First, it was a concussion that held him out (some don’t believe it was a concussion at all and merely an excuse to go back to Christian Ponder), and then Ponder basically took the reigns from there. Many are frustrated that the Vikings have essentially paid Freeman $3 million for nothing (despite his play of late, many still don’t think Ponder can be a viable starter due to his severe lack of arm strength), but Ponder played so well on Thursday night that the Vikings have to stick with him.
Ponder is pretty unlucky when it comes to injuries, though they have been a red flag for him ever since his college days at Florida State. Thursday night marked the second time in recent memory that Ponder suffered an injury after generating a ton of momentum as the starter, but luckily this injury doesn’t seem to be serious.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Ponder’s dislocated left shoulder isn’t a serious dislocation, and he could very well play in next week’s tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks following a long week of rest. Rapoport states that we’ll know Ponder’s status next week on Wednesday, and it seems like we should expect Christian Ponder to be out there.
He’ll have to be as great as he was on Thursday against the Seahawks in order for the Vikings to have a chance, and he certainly generated plenty of positive momentum with his accurate play. As long as he keeps making good decisions and hides his lack of arm strength, Ponder can lead a team to the playoffs like he did last year. He’s not a franchise QB, but you can win with him (the Vikings secondary, though, is just unworkable). The question is, how much of a supporting cast does it take to win with Ponder going forward?
He definitely deserves to start after his efficient displays (with Ponder, you have to try to accentuate his accuracy, rushing ability, and essentially game-manager kind of play), but I don’t think the Vikings are anywhere closer to finding a true franchise QB. But if they want a QB who won’t “lose you games”, then Christian Ponder is the right option; they probably have loftier goals in mind at the QB position than that, though.