It looks as though the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman won't be throwing passes come Sunday night. Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Vikings ‘Pondering’ their QB Situation Against Packers


As a fan of the NFL, I was watching the primetime MNF game featuring the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants.

As a fan of the Green Bay Packers, I was watching Josh Freeman.

Week eight brings a tilt that has been brewing since the offseason: Green Bay Packers versus the Minnesota Vikings. I am calling it: The Night Jennings Has No Catches.

Nah, I’m kidding. No, I’m not kidding. Like at all.

But, while a big storyline for the Packers is whether or not Jennings is going to run his big mouth on Sunday night — a recent development has made this matchup even more interesting. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released QB Josh Freeman on Oct. 3, and it wasn’t long before he was being fitted for his Vikings jersey.

I groaned when I read the news. I am so comfortable playing Christian Ponder twice a year! I did not want the Vikings to make an upgrade at the quarterback position. I was watching him closely on Monday night. I agree with analysts, it was way too soon to put Freeman’s feet to the fire. He had been with the team less than a fortnight, he couldn’t possibly have a grasp of the plays and schemes in time to be competitive Monday.

It felt more like an audition than a real effort. I am sure Freeman showed the coaching staff and the front office that he has something to offer (though I must have missed it). I think they must have genuinely felt like he had a great week of practice in preparation. I don’t know … what I did see, was something that had nothing to do with plays or schemes. I saw overthrows, bad passes, panic in the pocket, and unnecessary punishment.

In short, he was absolutely terrible. His receivers were half-heartedly running deep routes at the end of the game; they just didn’t see the point in putting their whole effort into a clear overthrow. Greg Jennings was on the sidelines shaking his head, I am guessing completely regretting his decision to move in free agency.

After the loss, Leslie Fraizer made it clear that playing Freeman was the correct choice. He also said that Josh would be starting again this week against the Packers. Now, it’s come out that Freeman suffered a concussion Monday night and is very unlikely to play Sunday.

Here’s what I think happened:

1. The coaching staff watched the tape, saw that the throws Freeman was missing had very little to do with plays and more to do with accuracy.

2. Cringed.

3. They went back and watched the film on the 2013 Green Bay Packers.

4. Got scared.

It’s probably far fetched, and I guess it’s possible that Freeman sustained a concussion, he was like a rag doll all night. However it happened, Packers fans can expect to see Christian Ponder on the field Sunday night. He’s going to be facing a rejuvenated Packers defense, however. With Casey Hayward practicing, finally, we may get to see him make his debut. Wouldn’t that be something? Morgan Burnett, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde, Tramon Williams, Davon House, Sam Shields — sounds like a good group.

Would sound even better if an ill-prepared, reeling Freeman were getting the nod.

Next Packers Game View full schedule »
Friday, Aug 2222 Aug7:00Oakland RaidersBuy Tickets

Tags: Christian Ponder Green Bay Packers Josh Freeman

  • Josh Thompson

    Man you Packers fans forget so easily. Christian Ponder threw for 234 yds 3 TD’s and 0 INTs in a win against the Packers in week 17 at the Metrodome last year. The game was pretty much one sided until late in the 3rd when Karen Rodgers tried to muster a comeback and came up short. And the idea that you are accusing the Vikings of violating the leagues injury policy and making up a fake injury to sideline Freeman is classless at best and has no place in a serious journalists article.

    • Jamie

      Wow. You’re right, I am classless. Or you might just be missing a sense of humor. I was clearly joking that they would fake an injury to their new $3 million dollar quarterback. I was merely remarking that his return to the field wasn’t as explosive as many were hoping. Levity was my goal — the Vikings were hoping for an immediate upgrade, pushing Ponder to the sidelines … but now, he’s back. You really should lighten up. And to your point about Christian Ponder — Yes, he had a fair game last season in week 17. But you are forgetting all too easily … EVERY other game he has played. Mediocre, at best. So … instead of coming up with cute nicknames for the best quarterback in football … I would worry about which Christian Ponder you will be seeing on Sunday.

  • Michael Kessler

    Damn, that would’ve been a laugher for the ages. Still might be, just not as severe.