Christian Ponder put up a brave front last week. He knew his right arm was in bad shape, but both the Minnesota Vikings and their quarterback hoped something would change before Saturday's playoff matchup against the Green Bay Packers.
It never did, rendering Ponder inactive for what was supposed to be the biggest game of his young NFL career. An overwhelmed Joe Webb never stood a chance in Ponder's place, and the Packers rolled to a 24-10 victory that wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicated.
"(W)e had a very good chance of winning that game," Ponder said Monday, via Tom Pelissero of The Star Tribune. "For myself to let my team down, that's what hurts the most."
Ponder spoke with the media at his locker, wearing a long white sleeve over the injured arm. He rolled the sleeve down to reveal significant bruising around his elbow and triceps.
Photo of #Vikings @cponder7 showing me his bruised bicep.- Shari L. Gross (@SGrossStrib) January 7, 2013
Pelissero tweeted that after speaking with Ponder, he was convinced the quarterback had "zero chance" to play Saturday. Ponder was coming off a big performance to get the Vikings into the playoffs the previous week. That he couldn't build on that game will be frustration we're sure he'll take deep into the offseason.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.