Christian Ponder dislocates shoulder in Vikings' win


The Minnesota Vikings eked out a 34-27 win Thursday night over the Washington Redskins, but they lost their starting quarterback.

A Football Life

The career of legendary coach Vince Lombardi -- who directed the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s -- will be chronicled on NFL Network on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

» The magic of Lombardi
» Top 10 motivational coaches
» Video: 'A Football Life'
» NFL Network schedule

Upcoming episodes:
» Dec. 24: Vince Lombardi, Part 1
» Dec. 31: Vince Lombardi, Part 2
» Jan. 7: Tiki and Ronde Barber
» Jan. 14: Bill Parcells
» Jan. 21: Jerry Smith
» Jan. 28: Jerry Rice

Christian Ponder was forced from the game after taking a hard hit on a pylon dive at the end of a 15-yard scramble.

The play originally was scored a touchdown, but the ball was ruled down at the 1-yard line via instant replay. Adrian Peterson scored on the next play, as Cassel came on in relief of Ponder.

NFL Media's Alex Flanagan reported minutes later on NFL Network's broadcast that Ponder was done for the night with a left shoulder injury.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier revealed during his postgame news conference that Ponder dislocated the shoulder. Ponder will undergo more tests to determine the extent of the injury, per Frazier.

"My expectations are I'm gonna be back next week," Ponder said after the game.

Don't count on it. Players often are overly optimistic about their injury timetables. The Vikings won't have a good idea on Ponder's availability until Friday's test results are in.

It will be interesting to see if the Vikings stick with Cassel or turn to Josh Freeman should Ponder miss Week 11 at the Seattle Seahawks.

Although the injury could be an opportunity to experiment with their $3 million project in Freeman, Frazier might decide that Cassel gives his team the best chance to maintain momentum.

Either way, the Vikings will have to play a nearly perfect game to hand Russell Wilson the first home loss of his career.

UPDATE: On Friday Frazier called Ponder's injury a standard dislocation and that an MRI revealed "no surprises." Frazier said the quarterback's availability will depend on how fast he heals. Frazier also did not rule Ponder out for Week 11, nor would he say who would start if he can't play.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" previewed "Thursday Night Football" and "stuck a fork" in the Raiders' 2013 chances.