EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings against Carolina on Sunday, a seemingly inevitable decision finally confirmed by coach Leslie Frazier.
Cassel helped the Vikings get their first victory of the season with a solid performance in London against Pittsburgh Sept. 29, a game Christian Ponder sat out of because of a broken rib. Ponder was cleared to play this week, though. Despite Frazier's earlier statement that Ponder was still the starter when healthy, the Vikings decided to make the former first-round draft pick their backup.
Frazier said his mind was made up a couple of days ago.
"I think it's always tough when you make a change at quarterback," he said. "You have to take a lot of factors into it when you're doing that. You don't make those decisions lightly, and we didn't. We'll see how it plays out."
The Vikings signed ex-Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman this week, further muddling the position. Frazier wasn't ready to declare Freeman an option for the next game, Oct. 21 on the road against the New York Giants, but he said he'd re-evaluate the situation Monday.
Cassel is 30-33 in 63 career starts, most of them with Kansas City. He said he didn't find out until Friday.
"I've been focusing on it without really knowing but at the same time anticipating maybe this would happen," Cassel said. "You know what? You never know in this league. I wouldn't have guessed on Monday we'd have another quarterback in the room as well."
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