Christian Ponder injury: Vikings QB cleared to play, but Matt Cassel expected to start

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota is likely to let Cassel start once more while Ponder rests.

The Minnesota Vikings are likely to start quarterback Matt Cassel over Christian Ponder this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Ponder is still trying to recover from a fractured rib that he suffered in Week 3 in a home loss versus the Cleveland Browns. The third-year quarterback out of Florida State has been resting now for three weeks, with two game weeks and a bye between his injury and the the Panthers game.

Cassel was able to earn the Vikings' first win of the year in London two weeks ago, topping the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, head coach Leslie Frazier said that Ponder was still the starter following the game.

Last Sunday, Minnesota signed ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneers signal-caller Josh Freeman and paid him $3 million, suggesting he is more than a clipboard holder. Freeman is not ready to start yet, but Frazier has gone on record saying he will be given an opportunity to compete for the job.

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