We’ve entered the part of the football calendar when head coaches become swashbuckling pirates with their conduct towards injury news. It’s their treasure, and you are not allowed to seek entry into their forbidden lair.
So keep that in mind every time we update an injury situation of any kind throughout the playoffs. We’re all dealing with the same information, and said information usually comes from the mouth of the head coach. Hey Belichick, how many guys will be listed as questionable this week? 26?
With that disclaimer out of the way, know this: it’s time to get worried about Christian Ponder.
Ponder bruised his throwing elbow during the Vikings’ playoff-clinching win over the Packers in Week 17. He’s not concerned about it, and no one associated with the Vikings seems to be either, especially not the receptionist.
Here’s what head coach Leslie Frazier said yesterday, a day when Ponder was limited in practice:
“Christian has some soreness in his elbow, so we limited some of his reps. I think he’ll be fine. He just has to get some work in (Thursday). We’ll see how much he progresses, but it doesn’t seem like it should be something that would hinder him come (Saturday). But we need to ramp it up a little bit (Thursday), so we’ll see where he is.”
Alright great. No worries, right? Yeah, about that.
Ponder was “highly limited” today, according to ESPN 1500′s Tom Pelissero, so that ramping didn’t happen. Instead, the opposite took place, and Ponder has seemingly regressed in his recovery.
There should still be very little concern about him potentially missing Minnesota’s wild card game and rematch against Green Bay Saturday night, but it’s becoming apparent that he won’t be operating at full health. Any limitation for a starting quarterback is clearly significant, but it’s especially troubling for this quarterback because the Vikes’ chances ride heavily on his ability to provide support for Adrian Peterson.