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Updated: September 27th, 2012 1:57pm
Christian Ponder added to Vikings' injury report because of neck issue

Christian Ponder added to Vikings' injury report because of neck issue

by Tom Pelissero and Judd Zulgad
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Quarterback Christian Ponder was a surprise addition to the Minnesota Vikings' injury report Thursday because of what was listed as a neck issue.

Ponder, who has guided the Vikings to a 2-1 start and has yet to throw an interception this season, was limited in practice. An NFL source said Ponder had some tension in his neck, but he is expected to be able to start Sunday at Detroit.

Meanwhile, linebacker Erin Henderson sat out practice again, leaving his status in doubt for a second consecutive week because of a concussion.

Coach Leslie Frazier, who talked to the media before it was known Ponder had been put on the injury report, said Henderson had not yet passed all the tests necessary to return from a head injury.

Frazier did not close the door on Henderson playing Sunday.

"We'd like to get him out here if we can," Frazier said. "He hasn't been cleared yet. If he were able to practice Friday, then we'd consider it. But who knows if he will be cleared by (Friday's) practice."

Frazier said Henderson has made progress.

Marvin Mitchell started in Henderson's place at weakside linebacker last Sunday against San Francisco, with Jasper Brinkley taking over Henderson's duties in nickel.

Also sitting out was safety Andrew Sendejo, who has been battling an ankle issue since the preseason. Safety Mistral Raymond, who is expected to miss three to five weeks because of a dislocated ankle, was absent.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph (thigh) returned to practice and was able to do limited work. Also limited were defensive ends Jared Allen (neck) and D'Aundre Reed (calf). Frazier said Rudolph moved well on Thursday after sitting out the previous day.

Allen, who suffered neck spasms near the end of the first half last Sunday as he tried to bring down 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, said his neck felt "a lot better" on Thursday.

"It was just one of those things were you wake up on the wrong side of the pillow, it just knotted up and locked up and just wouldn't go down," Allen said. "I did all my treatments this week and I'm ready to rock."

Allen played a couple of snaps last Sunday at left end because he couldn't turn his head to the left very well. However, he eventually decided to go back to his natural spot at right end and is expected to play at that position in Detroit.

"I felt a little bit out of place rushing over there (at left end)," said Allen, who did get a fourth-quarter sack against the 49ers while rushing from the right end. "I already had some good things going on (the right side), so instead of putting two people out of position, I just went back over there. I just figured I'd change my stance a little bit, so I could look at it. I had to back off the ball a little bit and sort of get a little tilt."

For the Lions, quarterback Matthew Stafford returned to practice with what the Lions officially are calling a hip injury and appears on track to start on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams underwent knee surgery, coach Jim Schwartz told reporters, and will miss the game.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was limited on Wednesday because of an ankle issue, was able to take part in all drills Thursday.

Safety Louis Delmas (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (quadriceps) did not practice again. Tight end Tony Scheffler (calf), linebacker Justin Durant (back), defensive end Lawrence Jackson (calf), running back Mikel Leshoure (groin) and guard Rob Sims (knee) were limited.

Wide receiver Titus Young (knee) and tackle Corey Hilliard (elbow) did not miss any time.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd