EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Christian Ponder will start at quarterback for Minnesota against Green Bay on Sunday night, while Josh Freeman will be inactive after being cleared to practice.
Next week's as-the-quarterback-carousel-turns episode has not been written yet, but the Vikings have their guy for the Packers game. Coach Leslie Frazier confirmed after practice on Friday that Ponder will start against the Vikings' bitter rival.
Freeman reported concussion-like symptoms the day after his rough performance Monday night in a loss to the New York Giants.
He passed the NFL's required tests and went through part of the workout with the Vikings on Friday, but this was too late in the week for him to catch up with the game plan and get ready to play. Frazier said Freeman will be inactive on Sunday night, with Matt Cassel backing up Ponder.
Frazier said the Vikings expect Freeman to fully participate in practice next week, which will create another mini-drama about who will take the next turn through this revolving door, particularly if Ponder plays well.
For now, the focus is on the Packers.
"I've got to any way I can help Christian out there. He had an excellent week of practice. He's dropping dimes left and right. I know everybody is excited about moving forward," Freeman said.
Freeman said his film review of the game didn't pin down the exact hit that caused the concussion. He said he didn't start feeling bad until after the flight home. This was his first concussion in the NFL.
"I've really appreciated how the coaches have handled it," Freeman said. "It's been kind of, 'OK, all right, take your time, feel it out.' It hasn't been, 'Hurry up and get back.' They've treated it and handled this situation very professionally in allowing me to get back at my own pace, which is, with any head injuries a necessary step."
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