Two injury-plagued franchises will face off on Friday evening from Minnesota's Mall of America, as Christian Ponder and the Vikings will play host to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers in both team's third preseason game.
Ponder and the Vikings are forced to play without the services of star running back Adrian Peterson until the regular season opens on Sept. 9, but look to be in top form after dismantling the Bills 36-14 in their second preseason game. The second-year Florida State product finished 10-of-13 for 136 yards with a touchdown pass in the win, and looks poised for a big sophomore campaign behind Minnesota's massive offensive line if he can stay healthy.
Much like in past years, Rivers' Chargers can't seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries. Tailback Ryan Mathews actually broke his clavicle on his first carry in the team's preseason opener, and days later standout second-year receiver Vincent Brown made things worse by breaking his ankle in practice.
With teammates dropping like flies before the regular season can even get started, everything falls back onto the shoulders of Rivers, who will turn 31 years old before the 2012 year is out. Even though he's easily one of the most consistent signal callers in the game today, the Chargers may be wise to lower Rivers' workload to finish out the preseason in an effort to keep him away from the injury bug.
Game Date/Time: Friday, August 24; 8 p,m. ET
Location: Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, Minnesoa
Minnesota - NBC KARE - 11 , San Diego - KFMB/CBS
: KFAN 100.3, Sirius 113
: ROCK 105.3, Sirius 139
Be sure to visit Bolts From The Blue for more Chargers coverage, and head over to Daily Norseman for more on the Vikings. Also check out SB Nation's NFL hub for more preseason coverage from around the league.