Unfortunately for Ponder, he will not be able to even throw a pass during tonight’s playoff rematch.
Ponder (elbow) will be inactive at Lambeau Field. Earlier on in the week, Ponder was listed as questionable but “expected to play.” That obviously wasn’t the case. It would have been difficult for Ponder to go, even if he felt like he could. An injured throwing arm plus very cold Green Bay weather equals a mess.
Instead, second string signal caller Joe Webb will get the nod in his first career playoff start. Regardless of who is under center, you know the Vikings offensive game plan will revolve around the indestructible Adrian Peterson. However, Webb brings a much different dynamic to that offense, one of which Ponder wasn’t exactly known for. Webb, once a projected wide receiver, has incredible speed and has been known to break off huge runs in his career (runs of 48 and 41 yards this preseason). While the Packers defense has been game-planning around Ponder starting at quarterback all week, they will have to respect mobility of Webb.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Vikings will integrate a read option based offensive attack, similar to that of the Washington Redskins. I mean, when you have the greatest running back in football, it should always be an option.
In this playoff battle between two rivals, I will be keeping my eye out for how both teams adjust to the quarterback change.