The reports are flowing in from all across the Twitters and other sources that Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder did not participate in Friday's practice leading up to the team's tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium this Sunday.
The news came out earlier in the week that Ponder had suffered a rib injury in the Week 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns, but had been going through practice over the course of the past couple of days. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune actually reported that he had "made progress" in practice.
On Friday, however, he did not go through stretching drills with the team or do anything else during the portion of practice that was open to the media, leading to speculation that the team will go with backup Matt Cassel on Sunday.
We can speculate as much as we'd like about how legitimate Ponder's rib injury is all day long. But it's looking more and more like the Vikings are going to go with Cassel on Sunday. Coach Leslie Frazier will be addressing the media after Friday's practice, and presumably we'll know more at that time. If there was a time to do so. . .10,000 miles from home with a bye week coming up. . .this would be the week to do it.
Who knows. . .maybe Cassel can conjure up enough magic to overcome the myriad of other shortcomings that this team has. Then again, maybe a start from Cassel will serve to show that this team does, in fact, have a myriad of other problems. Either way, that appears to be the way this team is trending for Sunday.