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Teddy Bridgewater out for Vikings; Ponder starts at QB

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Christian Ponder got the start for the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is inactive, according to a source informed of the situation. The team later announced it.

Bridgewater was incredibly impressive in his first start last week, completing 19-of-30 passing for 317 yards. He added 27 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. The first-round pick played a turnover-free game and pushed the ball downfield before leaving the game with an ankle injury.

The Vikings held out hope that the rookie signal-caller would be ready in time to play Thursday, and Bridgewater himself expressed optimism throughout the process. But the short week came at a bad time for Bridgewater to be healthy enough to play.

It's a prudent move for the Vikings when given the long view. We believe Bridgewater can flourish under Norv Turner this season. Getting Teddy fully healthy will go a long way to accomplishing that.

If the rookie's ankle wasn't going to be strong enough to perform at a normal level, there was no point to toss him out on a short week on the road at Lambeau Field in what could be a wet contest.

The Vikings signed quarterback Chandler Harnish to the active roster off the practice squad Thursday. Harnish, the last pick of the 2012 draft, has yet to play in an NFL game.

Ponder is 1-4-1 in six career starts against the Packers, with six touchdowns and five interceptions. However, three of those touchdowns came in the one victory, which helped the Vikings clinch a playoff berth in 2012.

Rapoport reported this offseason that the organization liked Ponder's progression under Turner and believed things would have gone differently for the first-round pick if he would have had this type of coaching his entire career. He gets a chance to prove if that is true Thursday night.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 5 game and explains why Sammy Watkins is now a favorite for Rookie of the Year.

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