Vikings QB Christian Ponder injured his hip during last Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos, but he was able to play through the pain and finish the game. Whether Ponder is able to play through the injury again this weekend in Detroit hinges largely on Friday’s practice.
Ponder has not participated in practice yet this week, and Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said his rookie QBs status will be in serious doubt if he’s not able to go through any of Friday’s workout.
“If he’s not able to do anything [Friday], it’d be hard pressed for us to put him in the game,” Frazier said. “We’d need to see him take some snaps and move around a little bit to make a decision about him playing.”
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise if Ponder is able to practice through the injury on Friday and ultimately suit up on Sunday. He has a history of playing through pain and injury going back to his days at Florida State when, as his former head coach Jimbo Fisher described, trainers would have to cut his elbow pad off his arm after games because of inflammation.
As able and willing as Ponder is to play through injury, though, Frazier stressed the importance of a QB being able to protect himself in the pocket. And that’s why the Vikings may not be willing to play him in a game until he demonstrates an ability to move around during practice.
“It’s just a matter of can he do the things he has to do as a quarterback,” Frazier explained. “One of the things he’s done so well is escape pressure with his mobility. So if he can handle that part of it…The mental part, he’s exceptional when it comes to that. He’ll get that. It’s a matter of ‘Can I protect myself if for some reason things break down?’”
Ponder’s offensive coordinator, Bill Musgrave, is a former NFL QB and he explained the impact a lower-body injury can have on a QB.
“The quarterbacks that I’ve been around in my experience, it’s tougher to play when you’re hurt from the waist down than hurt from the waist up,” Musgrave said. “When you throw, it starts with your foundation and rhythm and tempo that’s established with your footwork so you can get by more readily with a jammed finger or a sore elbow or a sprained shoulder than you can with something that happened down there at your foundation.”
We’ll know a lot more about Ponder’s status around noon on Friday, so stay tuned to vikings.com for an update from Frazier after practice.
Tags: Bill Musgrave, Christian Ponder, Leslie Frazier
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