In news that some Minnesota Vikings‘ fans will cheer, Christian Ponder is hurt. The quarterback suffered a rib injury this past Sunday against the Cleveland Browns and his status for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is now in question. It hasn’t been revealed whether Ponder is dealing with sore or broken ribs, but the injury is bad enough that the team hasn’t made a decision on him for Sunday.
So it’s with this news that Matt Cassel‘s name will start to be kicked around as the replacement for Ponder. Some fans were already calling for this, despite the fact that Ponder has played decent through the first three weeks. At the same time, he still hasn’t led the Vikings to a victory, which is really all that matters.
I’ve been of the mindset that it’s too early to go to Cassel at this point in the season. He hasn’t played well in a couple of years and there’s no evidence that says he’s a better option than Ponder. But if Ponder isn’t 100 percent, that changes everything. On top of that, if Minnesota wanted an opportunity to insert Cassel without making it a big deal, this would be it.
If you look at this from the ‘what do they have to lose’ perspective, a QB change makes sense. If the Vikings decide to sit Ponder in week four, they’ll get a chance to see how Cassel looks with the team. If he does terrible, they can go back to a well rested Ponder in week five. If he plays really well and leads the team to their first victory, then they can roll with him for a couple more weeks.
We’ll see how all this plays out, but my early guess is that Cassel will be behind center come Sunday. The Vikings have to be curious to see if he gels better with the receivers and if he can bring a spark to the team.