The team made the official announcement on Twitter:
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported yesterday that Ponder, the team's starter to open the season, had been cleared to return after overcoming a rib injury, but Minnesota was still leaning toward sticking with Cassel to face Carolina.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder, who fractured his rib, has been cleared to play, but Matt Cassel is Minnesota’s likely starter vs. Carolina.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 10, 2013
Cassel earned the chance to get the call again after a solid showing before the team's bye week. He completed 64 percent of his throws for 248 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Who should be the Vikings' starting QB?
He's struggled over the past few seasons, making it easy to forget he's only three seasons removed from a campaign that saw him throw 27 touchdowns and just seven picks for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings hope he can play that type of football moving forward.
The team's plan with Freeman hasn't come to light quite yet. His upside was obvious during previous seasons with Tampa Bay, but he was struggling mightily before getting released, and the Vikings probably want to give him some time to settle in and learn the offense.
As for Ponder, he was given numerous chances to lock down the spot over the past three seasons and was never able to do it. Through 30 career games, he's completed less than 60 percent of his passes with just 33 touchdown passes and 30 interceptions.
How long Cassel will remain the starter is unknown, but he gets another chance to prove himself in Week 6 against a solid Panthers defense.