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Minnesota Vikings' Christian Ponder reveals rib injury

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder might have a more difficult time sucking it up this Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers than we originally thought.

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Ponder told reporters in London (where the tussle will take place) Wednesday morning that he suffered a rib injury early in last week's 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns, per NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

"The biggest concern is contact," Ponder said, per USA Today. "My mindset is I'm going to play."

Ponder said he threw during the Vikings' walkthrough but wouldn't confirm whether his ribs were bruised or broken. The quarterback said he injured his ribs twice in college at Florida State and played through it both times.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said that, while Ponder would be limited today, it was a good sign that he finished the game last weekend, Kinkhabwala reported.

"We want to see how Christian does today," Frazier said. The coach said he hasn't necessarily started game-planning for backup Matt Cassel, but wouldn't really have to alter the game plan if Cassel is the starter.

According to Kinkhabwala, the Vikings' equipment staff is preparing to provide Ponder with extra padding.

Ponder's struggles have been well documented both inside and outside of Minnesota. The third-year pro struggles to complete the big pass and can't seem to shake the propensity to commit the soul-crushing, game-killing turnover.

If the Vikings wanted an excuse to pull Ponder in favor of Matt Cassel, they might have their opening. If Ponder gives up the job now, there is a chance he never gets it back.


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