Rumors are now a-swirl on Twitter that Christian Ponder's elbow is in fact sufficiently injured enough that Joe Webb could have a legitimate chance to hit the field tonight, if not outright start. While no official confirmation either way has come from the Vikings' top brass, Judd Zulgad wrote an interesting piece yesterday wondering if all this isn't just smoke-and-mirrors.
Zulgad wonders if Leslie Frazier isn't playing mind games with the Packers, a la Bill Belichick with his ever questionable injury reports. (I'm pretty sure Wes Welker was ‘doubtful' for the entire 2012 season, pretty good for a guy who never missed the field.) In theory, it certainly would throw a wrench in the Packer's defensive plans: a Joe Webb offense is about as similar to a Christian Ponder offense as a squirrel is to a bass. (Did you like that simile? I came up with it all by myself. You can steal it if you like.) Any time that Dom Capers spent prepping for Spiderman took time away from prepping for Mr. Steele, and that would, in theory anyways, harm the Packer's D.
My issue with that though is it's just not Frazier's style. He's a very straightforward guy, basically as similar to Brad Childress as a cell phone is to a lighter. He doesn't like to lie (in fact, I don't think I've ever heard him do it), doesn't like shadowy mind games, doesn't like feeding speculation. While I personally think it could be possible that Rick Spielman might be behind such trickery and deceive-ry, I also buy that Frazier just wouldn't stand for it.
It does seem odd that Ponder was able to finish the game just fine with his sore elbow, considering it was hurt in the second quarter. Granted, in-game adrenaline can do wonders for pain management, and some injuries can actually become worse in the short-term with rest. Still, unless he aggravated it post-game, I would be very surprised if it prevented him from playing the entire game- much less make the start.
We'll just have to see. In the meantime we'll be monitoring the situation, and will update should something major happen pre-kickoff.