After dislocating his left shoulder in the Minnesota Vikings' 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins, Christian Ponder made it clear that he still expected to play through the injury in Week 11 at Seattle.
As it turns out, Ponder's outlook wasn't overly optimistic. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday's edition of NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that Ponder's dislocation is considered minor, according to two sources informed of the injury.
It's still "very possible" that Ponder will start next week, according to Rapoport. The Vikings will have a better idea about Ponder's arm strength after next Wednesday's practice, at which point they are expected to make a decision on their quarterback situation.
Another interesting point from Rapoport's report is the implication that the Vikings view Thursday's performance over nearly three quarters as the best of Ponder's three-year career. Even with $3 million invested in a late-season audition for Josh Freeman, the quarterback job is Ponder's to lose the rest of the way.
Fans of the recent NFL "apology contract" phenomenon -- popularized by Donovan McNabb and perfected by Mark Sanchez -- shouldn't get their hopes up for Ponder just yet. The Vikings already have an eye on the 2014 first-round quarterback prospects.