Christian Ponder played the best game of his NFL career last week in helping the Minnesota Vikings advance to the playoffs. How healthy will the quarterback be in attempting an encore performance next week?
The Vikings announced Friday that Ponder is listed as questionable for Saturday night's wild-card playoff matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder was limited in practice all week after injuring his throwing elbow during Sunday's win over the Packers.
So what does it mean? We fully expect Ponder to make the start -- coach Leslie Frazier said Thursday he believed his quarterback would be "all right" -- but it's conceivable the Vikings were forced to alter their game plan because of his condition. More pressing is the possibility Ponder could aggravate the injury, creating a reality in which backup quarterback Joe Webb is taking snaps at Lambeau Field in January.
Of course, the Vikings' offense is about Adrian Peterson. Ponder -- or whomever is behind center -- will be tasked with making enough plays to keep the defense honest, allowing Peterson the room needed to do his thing.
In other injury news, Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield also is listed as questionable with a broken right hand. Winfield said Thursday he'll play with a cast. He was forced to exit last week's game because of pain from the injury originally suffered in Week 16.
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