Josh Freeman will not start for Vikings vs. Panthers

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Christian Ponder is likely the starter for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, if healthy.

The Minnesota Vikings addressed their need at quarterback on Sunday night by adding former Buccaneers passer Josh Freeman, but he isn't going to be the team's starter when they place host to the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday.

Christian Ponder would be the team's starter if he is healthy, but his availability is still in question after he missed the team's Week 4 game with a fractured rib. Matt Cassel started in Ponder's place and led the Vikings to a 34-27 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London.

A first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Ponder has compiled a 12-17 career record as a starter and has just two touchdown passes with five interceptions in 2013. With a team that earned a postseason berth in 2012, the patience for Ponder is likely running thin and could result in a new starter soon, regardless of Ponder's health, if he is unable to improve his play.

That replacement could be Freeman, although he likely won't be the one stepping into the lineup until after he's had to time to become accustomed to the Vikings playbook.

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