Three weeks ago, fans in Minnesota would have been thrilled to see this. Now, on the eve of Wild Card Weekend, it might be a nightmare.
The Minnesota Vikings have listed quarterback Christian Ponder as questionable on their injury report. However, the second-year quarterback out of Florida State is expected to start Minnesota's Wild Card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field tomorrow night.
Ponder was limited in practice all week after suffering a bruised right elbow in Minnesota's 37-34 win over the Packers in the final week of the regular season to send them to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. He sustained the injury when his elbow hit Green Bay linebacker Morgan Burnett's helmet on a follow through. Ponder remained and finished the game in what coach Leslie Frazier called "the defining moment" of his career.
That being said, Vikings backup quarterback Joe Webb has been seeing the majority of first-team snaps in practice...just in case.
Webb has only seen three snaps this season, all in a 30-7 Vikings win against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5. Webb handed the ball off twice and took a a kneel-down before the Vikings punted on their last possession of the game.
A cold Joe Webb could be a better option than an injured Ponder depending on whether the bruising in Ponder's elbow has subsided. When Ponder is on, he's on (QB rating of 120.2 against Green Bay in Week 17) but when he's off, he is terrible (11-22, 63 yards, INT vs Seattle in Week 9).
Ponder has played very well after a terrible seven-week stretch that saw three sub-100 yard passing games. In his past three games, he has completed 60 percent of his passes and thrown four touchdowns. But, most importantly, he hasn't turned the ball over.
Once should-be MVP Adrian Peterson is added into the mix, this Vikings offense can be tough to stop.
If Ponder is able to go, there is no chance he will miss starting his first playoff game.