It was reported on Friday that second-year quarterback Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings was still dealing with an elbow injury suffered in the win over the Green Bay Packers. Despite the injury, Ponder was considered to be good to go for the NFC Wild Card game against the Packers on Saturday with a questionable status, but now that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Ponder has officially been ruled out of the Vikings’ playoff game against the Packers with a bruised elbow according to ESPN.com:
Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Christian Ponder is inactive for the team’s NFC wild-card game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night because of a bruised right elbow.
Joe Webb, 1-1 as a starter in his career, will replace Ponder for the Vikings. Webb, a running threat, has yet to attempt a pass this season.
With Ponder scratched from the starting lineup and the inexperienced Webb taking over under center, the Vikings’ coaching staff will once again lean heavily on NFL MVP candidate Adrian Peterson. Although Peterson played a big role in the win over Green Bay in the regular-season finale to punch their ticket to the playoffs with 199 rushing yards, Ponder had arguably one of the best games of his career with 234 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
As if the odds weren’t already against Minnesota coming into this showdown with their division rivals, not having Ponder under center tilts the scales even more in the direction of Green Bay. Webb is a formidable backup and gives the Vikings more speed and mobility at the quarterback position, but he’s a backup for a reason and Ponder’s absence will definitely be felt by this team at Lambeau Field.