When the Vikings selected Christian Ponder with their first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in last April’s draft, the thinking was he’d be the quarterback of the future. Fast-forward to Week 7 of the 2011 season, and the future is here.
Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier announced on Wednesday that Ponder will make his first NFL start on Sunday, with the defender Super Bowl-champion Green Bay Packers coming to town for their annual visit to Mall of America Field.
Ponder saw his first regular season action last Sunday night in the Vikings loss to Chicago, as he came on in relief for Donovan McNabb in the second half. In one quarter of action, Ponder was 9 of 17 or 99 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions; he also had one rushing attempt for eight yards. On Sunday, though, Ponder will take the field from the start and try to energize a Vikings team that has battled through a rough start to the season and a Vikings fan base that is starving for a young, franchise-caliber QB to emerge.
Questions about McNabb’s standing as the starting quarterback surfaced early in the season after the Vikings stumbled out of the gate to a 0-4 start. McNabb’s subpar outings early in the season were certainly not the only deficiency for the Vikings, but in the NFL it’s the quarterbacks who receive most of the credit in times of prosperity and most of the blame in times of adversity.
Ultimately, with the Vikings slipping to 1-5 after last week’s loss to the Bears, the time came for Frazier and the Vikings to make a switch. Will the switch to Ponder set the stage times of prosperity in the future? The first step in the long process of making that determination begins on Sunday.
Tags: Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb
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