It's official: Head Coach Leslie Frazier has named Christian Ponder the starting quarterback for the Vikings' Week 9 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Josh Freeman has been cleared to play for quite a while now after suffering a concussion, but he'll remain on the bench when the Vikings kick off in Dallas. Frazier says that the decision is all about giving the team the best chance to win:
I felt like trying to pick the guy you feel like will give you the best chance to be successful on Sunday, and we think that's Christian.
Matt Cassel wasn't ever considered for the starting role this week but he might still be the backup behind Ponder on Sunday. Frazier has yet to specify who the second- and third-string quarterbacks will be in Dallas.
I'll try to refrain from editorializing about this move too much, but "Christian Ponder gives us the best chance to win" might be the saddest Vikings-related sentence I've heard all year. Because I'm fairly certain I agree with it. The Vikings coaching staff obviously thinks that Freeman hasn't shown enough to beat out Ponder for the starting gig.
And no, I don't think the Vikings are "tanking" by naming Ponder the starter again. There are too many jobs on the line throughout the coaching staff and roster for the team to throw games away. But unless Ponder plays significantly better and leads the Vikings to an improbable victory on Sunday, it becomes more and more curious as to why Frazier is sticking with Ponder as the season swirls further down the drain.
There's still half the season for the team to kick the tires on Freeman after Sunday, but at this rate you have to wonder when Freeman will see significant time this season if at all.
In my opinion, the saddest part about naming Ponder the starter again is that I really don't think it matters who the Vikings chose. None of the three quarterbacks on the roster have shown that they can get this team to where they need to be. The merry-go-round of quarterbacks is just one of the many problems I expect the Cowboys to exploit on Sunday. I keep hoping Ponder will prove me wrong and take the needed leap forward but he hasn't yet through his 30 career starts.
So what do you think about Ponder being named starter again? Let us know in the comments.