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Updated: October 10th, 2013 9:13am
Report: Christian Ponder cleared to play, but Matt Cassel will start

Report: Christian Ponder cleared to play, but Matt Cassel will start

by Phil Mackey
Email | Twitter

Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier may have to revise his latest statments. 

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, quarterback Christian Ponder (rib injury) has been cleared to play, but the Vikings are still likely to start Matt Cassel for Sunday's home game against the Carolina Panthers.

Frazier had been saying since before the Vikings' win in London that Ponder is the team's starting quarterback if healthy. He didn't renege those statements this week, despite the fact that Cassel played well in Week 4. 

If Ponder is indeed healthy, the Vikings can no longer use the rib injury as a reason for why he isn't the starter anymore. 

Of course, to make matters more complicated, Josh Freeman has been attempting to cram Bill Musgrave's playbook into his head all week, and it's likely he will emerge as the team's leading candidate to start at quarterback sooner than later. 

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd