The Minnesota Vikings certainly didn’t think they’d be sitting at 0-3 heading into their week four matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They also didn’t think that Matt Cassel would be behind center for the game in London, either. It’s not that some people didn’t call this back in the summertime, but those saying that Cassel would take over the starting job thought it would be due to poor performance from Christian Ponder.
The reality is that Ponder has been pretty decent so far in 2013. He hasn’t been great, but he hasn’t been bad. So on some levels, it’s unfortunate that he suffered fractured ribs in week three. The team is citing health concerns as the reason they won’t play him on Sunday, but I believe they also want to see what Cassel can do. This injury situation provides the team with the perfect opportunity to put No. 16 in the lineup.
Cassel hasn’t played good football in quite awhile. His career got ran into the ground in Kansas City and there’s a reason that he was only viewed as a backup QB this offseason. But there’s also a reason the Vikings signed him early on in the free agent process. They wanted to make sure they had a decent insurance policy behind Ponder, because his leash was going to be fairly short this year.
I’m not going to say that Cassel is a better QB than Ponder, because there’s little evidence to support that. But I also think the Vikings aren’t any worse of a team with Cassel behind center. Well have to see how everything pans out on Sunday, but if the veteran QB does well, I doubt well see Ponder back in the lineup anytime soon.