Vikings' plan for Christian Ponder meant QB had a short night
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Leslie Frazier had decided before the Minnesota Vikings' 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans in their preseason opener Friday night that starting quarterback Christian Ponder would only play one series.
Of course, the Vikings coach was hoping that Ponder would be on the field for more than two plays. That didn't turn out to be the case.
The Vikings won the coin toss, Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 50 yards to the Vikings 45-yard line, Ponder completed a 15-yard pass to Jerome Simpson and then Ponder threw another pass toward Simpson.
The problem was that the ball was not thrown particularly well and Simpson tipped it into the hands of Texans safety Shiloh Keo. Houston took over and Ponder's night was finished.
"There was a temptation," to put Ponder back in the game, Frazier said, "but then I reminded myself why we made the decision we were going to go one series, whether it was two plays, three plays, 10 plays.
"We'll have opportunities to get our ones a lot more work. We need time to look at some other guys and figure out who is going to help our football team. We'll have time to evaluate our ones over the next couple weeks."
Ponder, who was replaced by Matt Cassel, acknowledged he would have liked to have played more but understood Frazier's reasoning.
"Number one you don't want to get hurt, especially in the first preseason game," Ponder said. "There are guys that are trying to make roster spots who need the playing time as well. We'll get plenty of time in the next couple of games."
Asked about the interception, Ponder said: "It obviously got tipped. I think Jerome tipped it up. What happened was it was hot and I think their defense actually screwed up. They had a (missed assignment) and the Will (linebacker) shouldn't have been where he was. Once we see the film, we'll see exactly what happened."
Ponder said he expects to play a quarter next Friday in the Vikings' second preseason game at Buffalo.