Vikings to start Matt Cassel on Sunday at Baltimore, per Frazier
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel will start against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday as Christian Ponder has not passed the necessary steps in the NFL concussion protocol to practice on Wednesday, per coach Leslie Frazier.
Cassel will make his third start of the season, first since the Oct. 13 loss against the Carolina Panthers.
"[Ponder] still has not passed any of the tests we need to get him on the field [Wednesday]. More than likely Matt Cassel is going to be our starter for this ball game," Frazier said. "We'll proceed accordingly with Josh [Freeman] as our backup, understanding where Christian is in trying to pass those tests."
Even if Ponder passes the baseline testing and additional protocols needed after a concussion he suffered in Sunday's win against the Chicago Bears, it's a longshot Ponder plays.
"If [Ponder] were able to practice tomorrow, maybe," Frazier said. "But not planning on that."
Freeman will be active for just the third time in nine games since joining the Vikings in early October as he is pegged to backup Cassel. Cassel threw for more than 240 yards in the second half and overtime of Sunday's win, which is just the third time a Vikings quarterback has reached that mark - all from Cassel.
Freeman hasn't seen game action since his only start in the Oct. 21 loss to the New York Giants, but Frazier seemed confident that Freeman will be a substantial backup.
"I think [Freeman] would be a quality guy in that situation and be able to handle it if something happened to Matt [Cassel]," Frazier said.