Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier stated today that he will “probably” start Matt Cassel this week against the Baltimore Ravens if Christian Ponder is unable to play, and I believe that’s a big-time understatement coming from Frazier. I mean, the Vikings seem to have no intention of starting Josh Freeman at all, which is most likely at Frazier’s behest. After Cassel’s solid performance in spot duty against the Chicago Bears, I doubt Frazier has any intention of not starting Cassel if Ponder can’t go.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports that the Vikings still haven’t cleared Christian Ponder from last week’s concussion, and this news is followed by an even more interesting nugget from a source close to Anderson. If Ponder can play, then Cassel will “most likely” play, according to this report from Anderson. I definitely buy Anderson’s source more than I buy Frazier’s words, because Frazier is more likely to say “probably” than “most likely” (coaches like keeping things as vague as possible), and it just makes logical sense that Frazier would “most likely” start Cassel in Ponder’s stead.
Keep a close eye on Ponder’s status heading into this game against the Ravens, but I expect Matt Cassel to end up getting the start this week. It’s still disappointing to see that Frazier won’t give Freeman a real chance out there, and I’m not bullish on the chances of Freeman getting back out there due to the Vikings continued unwillingness to play him.