Josh Freeman should practice next week, but says he's not being rushed
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Josh Freeman's first start as a Minnesota Vikings quarterback resulted in his first concussion in his five years of NFL experience.
Freeman was cleared Friday morning and practiced for the first time since suffering the head injury in Monday's loss to the New York Giants, in which Freeman threw 33 incompletions on 53 attempts.
"There's a lot of different things that go into that," Freeman said. "Looking back, maybe I was a little too fired up at first. There are a lot of correctable things, going into the game that I thought I'd be able to complete or do on the field, but at the same time, I didn't."
He'll be inactive against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, leaving quarterback Matt Cassel to backup Christian Ponder, who was named the starter on Wednesday.
If Freeman's ready, he'll return to a regular practice schedule next week, per Frazier. But Freeman said there's no rush with head injuries in today's NFL.
"[They're] allowing me to get back at my own pace, which with any head injury is a necessary step," Freeman said. "I've really appreciated how the coaches have handled it: 'It's alright, take your time, feel it out.' It hasn't been 'alright, hurry back.' They've handled this situation very professionally."
In what was supposed to be Ponder's third year to take hold as the franchise quarterback, the Vikings have pulled him after a 0-3 start. Cassel started the next two games to a 1-1 record while Freeman was put in a bad position in a loss in his debut.
The Vikings will revert back to Ponder for now, but they're not promising anything to their quarterbacks one week to the next. Freeman said he hasn't been told he'll get the starting job back.
"Nah, I mean, the entire organization's focus right now is on Sunday night and going up against the Packers and finding a way to get a win. My role for the game, anyway I can, help Christian out there," Freeman said."
Frazier ruled out tight end Rhett Ellison (knee), running back Matt Asiata (shoulder) and receiver Rodney Smith (hip) along with Freeman for Sunday night's game.
Defensive tackle Fred Evans tweaked his knee in Thursday's practice and did not participate on Friday. Frazier said he should be fine.
Kicker Blair Walsh (hamstring) practiced on Friday and will retain field goal duties on Sunday night. There hasn't been a decision if he'll handle kickoffs, per Frazier.