Was Getting Benched Just What Christian Ponder Needed?

By Andrew Fisher
Christian Ponder
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder has had a rocky 2013 season thus far. After starting the year with three consecutive losses and then fracturing his ribs, he found himself on the bench in favor of Matt Cassel. Now, four weeks later, he’s likely to take over the starting QB job from Josh Freeman. Somewhere in between Ponder getting hurt and Cassel taking his place, the Minnesota Vikings decided to bring in Freeman for a tryout. After his debut went as bad as possible on MNF, Freeman is now doubtful for week eight with a concussion.

It’s been a long four weeks for Ponder, but regardless of the circumstances, he’s back at the helm in Minnesota.

All reports out of the Twin Cities indicate that the third-year QB has more of an edge to him now that he did a few weeks back. That will happen, when you have your dream job taken away from you.

“I think it was good for me to kind of take a step back for a couple weeks and take a deep breath and learn from those first three games and get out there and play better. I’m excited for this opportunity. What a great way to come back out against the Packers at home. It’ll be fun,” said Ponder.

So it’s fair to wonder at this point – was getting benched just what Ponder needed?

There’s no doubt that he didn’t have much of an edge to him before this whole fiasco. So if he’s able to harness that frustration and channel it into his play, that could be a really good thing for the Vikings. But even if he has a renewed enthusiasm and appreciation for the game, he will still have to prove it on the field. Having a new attitude is one thing, producing is another.

We’ll see how things unfold on SNF, but after the performance we just witnessed from Freeman, it’s clear that Ponder gives the Vikings the best chance to win against the Packers. Where Minnesota’s season will go from there, is anyone’s guess.


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