When Christian Ponder dislocated his shoulder last Thursday night and left the game, it was Matt Cassel who came in to replace him. Against the Washington Redskins on Thursday Ponder went 17-for-21 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns. While not eye popping stats, it must be kept in mind that Ponder was making throws he normally wouldn’t and showcased an increased arm strength on his medium throws. However, with it being a big possibility that Ponder misses the Minnesota Vikings‘ next game, Josh Freeman is hoping to get the nod from head coach Leslie Frazier.
Freeman told the St. Paul Pioneer Press recently that he has been making progress in the offense and hopes Frazier lets him start again. Freeman wasn’t bashing any of the other Vikings quarterbacks or the coaching staff, he simply was indicating he hopes to be given a second chance, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Vikings to do. With a record of 2-7 the Vikings’ playoff hopes have already died, and management should be thinking about making this team better for the 2014 season.
Cassel really has no value to the Vikings anymore as he will never be the long-term starter, and in a contract year next season he will likely serve as the backup or third-stringer. Freeman, however, still has an opportunity to prove he is a franchise quarterback, and with the injury to Ponder now is the perfect time for Freeman’s second chance. While nothing should be set in stone for the long-term place at QB, Freeman should be the one under center this upcoming Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
This is of course if the coaching staff has also noticed improvements in his game so that he doesn’t go out on the field an embarrass himself like he did against the New York Giants. Although Cassel has more time in the Vikings’ offense this season than Freeman and has been solid while starting, winning games now does nothing other than lower their first pick in next year’s draft.
Therefore the starting of Freeman would give the strong-armed quarterback a shot to prove his promising 2010 season wasn’t a fluke, along with providing Vikings fans the excitement of a quarterback who can make the deep throw, something that hasn’t been seen in Minnesota on a continual basis since the days of Daunte Culpepper.