Without Injured Christian Ponder, Packers Pound Vikings 24-10

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIJanuary 5, 2013

UPDATE: Without their starting QB Christian Ponder, the Vikings lose to Packers 24-10.

UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 5 at 6:34 p.m. ET by Austin Green

Christian Ponder is officially inactive for Saturday's Wild Card Game against Green Bay, according to NBC's Pro Football Talk.

Christian Ponder is OUT for tonight.Joe Webb starts.

— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 5, 2013

Joe Webb, who hasn't thrown a single pass this season, will start in place of Ponder. Webb was a sixth-round draft pick (199th overall) in 2010.

For his career, Webb has completed 88 of 152 passes for 853 yards and three touchdowns. He has also thrown five career interceptions.

Webb is a threat in the running game, as he has scored four TDs on the ground.

---End of Update---

Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the following via Twitter:

Have been told it is "looking more likely" Joe Webb will start tonight. Still no final word. But Vikings much closer to Plan B.

— Dan Wiederer (@StribDW) January 5, 2013

UPDATE: Saturday, January 5 at 5:20 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald

Some conflicting reports on Ponder's status are surfacing. NFL.com's Albert Breer seems to think that Ponder will give it a go tonight in the big wild-card matchup with the NFC North rival Packers:

Vikings QB Christian Ponder out on the field throwing now. Looks OK. Talking to the trainers too.

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 5, 2013

However, the Pioneer Press saw Ponder warming up and didn't paint a very convincing picture:

Ponder already done throwing. Heading in with Sugarman. Didn't throw anything longer than 15 yards that I saw.

— Pioneer Press (@VikingsNow) January 5, 2013

Should Ponder not be able to go, backup Joe Webb will get the starting nod, and could provide an added element to the Vikings' running game alongside Adrian Peterson. But it looks like it will be Ponder under center.

---End of Update---

NFL.com's Albert Breer discussed the elbow issues Ponder has been having this week:

Ponder's elbow caused fatigue issues midweek. Vikings rested him, but based on the last 3 days, doesn't seems like it's improved. ...

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 5, 2013

Ponder was the Vikings’ first-round pick in 2011 and has received mixed reviews during his brief time in Minnesota. 

His ups and downs are perfectly illustrated by his two performances against the Packers this season.

In Week 17, the Vikings needed to beat the Packers to reach the postseason, and Ponder completed 16-of-28 passes for 234 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 37-34 victory. 

But a month earlier he connected on just 12-of-25 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions when Minnesota lost 23-14 to the Packers at Lambeau Field.

He finished the season with 2,935 passing yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.  

Now, the team may have to turn to backup QB Joe Webb when it returns to the legendary stadium. 

Webb is in his third season out of Alabama-Birmingham and has not thrown a pass this year. He has seen limited action as a backup during his career in Minnesota, and he has three career touchdown passes compared to five interceptions.

He is a mobile quarterback who can make plays with his legs, but if he is under center in this game, it will likely lead to an increased workload for Adrian Peterson. 

The Vikings have relied heavily on Peterson to move the ball this year, and the star running back has delivered with an MVP-caliber season. But he will have to be even better in the Wild Card Game if Ponder is unable to play.

Check back here for updates on Ponder’s condition going forward.