New Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman is expected to undergo a physical Monday and report to the team Wednesday, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. With such a short turnaround, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced that Freeman won't start on Sunday when Minnesota hosts the Carolina Panthers in Week 6, via ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Vikings HC Leslie Frazier said QB Josh Freeman will not start Sunday vs. Carolina.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 7, 2013
Frazier also said Freeman will have a chance to compete for the starting job, meaning he could be in the mix for the team's Week 7 road matchup against the New York Giants.
"I mean, that's part of the equation," Frazier said, according to Goessling. "When we talked with him, that's definitely on the table, so we'll see how well he progresses and how well he picks up our offense."
The team's official Twitter account passed along more reaction from Frazier on Freeman's impending addition to the Vikings:
Coach Frazier on Freeman: "We think he’ll be able to help us. To what degree, only time will tell" More at http://t.co/OP19IHIjOy— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 7, 2013
It will also affect the future of Christian Ponder, who Frazier told Goessling is "still our starter" as he tries to recover from a broken rib he suffered in Week 3, paving the way for Matt Cassel to start. Judd Zulgad of 1500 ESPN tweeted that Ponder broke a rib near his heart and is expect to miss 3-4 more weeks:
I'm guessing that with Christian Ponder having a fractured rib near his heart he will be out because of injury for three to four games.— Judd Zulgad (@1500ESPNJudd) October 1, 2013
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Freeman on Thursday, ending a tumultuous relationship between the fifth-year quarterback and his team.
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Shortly after the season started, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Freeman and coach Greg Schiano were at odds, with some of the contention stemming from Freeman being stripped of his captain's patch after three seasons with the C on his jersey. Freeman was also upset at the team's handling of a report that he is in Stage One of the league's substance-abuse program.
Today's scoreboard: Josh Freeman and Matt Flynn will make $8.43M and $6.5M, respectively, to NOT play for Bucs and Raiders in 2013.— Andrew Brandt (@adbrandt) October 7, 2013
Freeman has showed flashes of play-making ability with his arm and feet throughout his career, but he was benched for rookie Mike Glennon following a 23-3 loss to the New England Patriots that dropped the Bucs to 0-3. In three games in 2013, Freeman has completed a career-low 45.7 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions while averaging 190.33 yards per game.