Vikings Quarterback Quandary

This picture is hilarious.

This picture is hilarious.

Rambling On is a seriously fun blog and podcast covering sports, music, culture, and more. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.

When the news broke of Christian Ponder’s “rib injury” a few weeks ago I immediately thought it was fake. It fit the narrative too well. The Vikings drafted Ponder, a marginal talent from the start, too high and latched onto him for too long. Giving up on him at this point would look stupid so they forced the narrative by faking the injury. This both spares his feelings and makes them look less stupid for sticking with him for so long.

When the Vikings announced that Josh Freeman suffered a concussion after his embarrassing debut I honestly started laughing out loud. What a joke the Vikings organization has become. This new debacle further convinces me that Ponder’s rib injury was fake.

There are plenty of reasons to fake Freeman’s injury. His poor performance proved that he needs more time to learn the playbook. Sure, the routine passes he missed had nothing to do with the playbook, but Freeman is a proven NFL talent. His poor performance last Monday seems logically more likely an aberration than an indicator of how he good/bad he actually is. Because he was learning everything too fast, and was put on the spot too soon, he got overwhelmed, and this likely caused his poor performance. At least to a degree.

The Vikings organization, then, would look stupid if they put a healthy Freeman on the bench because they made the incorrect decision to play him too early. It also gave them one last chance to see if Ponder had it in him to play decently. That he couldn’t, even though his NFL career is on life support, is telling.

Poor Christian Ponder. At least he still has his hot wife.

Poor Christian Ponder. At least he still has his hot wife.

The saddest part of Leslie Frazier’s press conference on Monday was how he dismissed the idea of starting Matt Cassel. Sure, they wasted all this time on Ponder so it might be worth giving him another look or two. They should probably see what they have in Josh Freeman since they spent $2 million on him as well. But come on, Cassel lead the team to its only victory! Shouldn’t he at least be in the mix?

If I were the Vikings – and honestly, I’d probably do a better job at running the organization at this point – I say you have to start Freeman if he’s healthy. Then again, if I were the Vikings I also would have released Christian Ponder instead of McCloud Bethel-Thompson when they signed Freeman, so that indicates my opinion of Ponder.

Bottom line: you spent $2 million on Freeman. You have to know at this point, if you’re the Vikings, that Ponder has no future. So the logical thing, then, is to start the quarterback who may have a chance to succeed.

*© Dan Cole. With love, Bearded Xcel Center Guy.

Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik’s music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.


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