Frazier would like rookie QB Ponder to start Vikings' opener

The unsettled labor situation makes it impossible for the Minnesota Vikings to add a veteran quarterback right now. That doesn't matter to coach Leslie Frazier.

Frazier told ESPN Radio Twin Cities that he imagines a best-case scenario in which first-round draft pick Christian Ponder will be under center for the Vikings' Sept. 11 season opener against the San Diego Chargers.

"Ideally, I'd like for him to be ready to go when we play San Diego," Frazier said Sunday. "That would be the ideal situation -- we've got our Matt Ryan, we've got our (Joe) Flacco, we've got our (Mark) Sanchez right here. But because of the uncertainty of the offseason, it's just hard to determine exactly how you want to approach it. So, we need a little more clarity on what this offseason's going to be like."

Frazier also acknowledged that it would be difficult for that scenario to unfold if the Vikings' offseason program is interrupted and the coaching staff doesn't have enough time to evaluate their rookie quarterback because of the lockout.

"It would be tough to be able to send him out there against San Diego if we don't start football, if we don't report until, say, mid-August, or three weeks prior to the season," Frazier said. "That would be a tough, tough deal for any young quarterback. It's tough enough just getting through OTAs and preseason games, but if we start this thing without preseason games or one preseason game, I think you have to rethink how you approach it. So, that'll probably answer what direction we go -- based on when we start football."

The other quarterbacks on the Vikings' roster include Joe Webb, who filled in for injured Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson last season, and third-year pro Rhett Bomar, who has yet to play in an NFL game.

After Ponder was taken 12th overall Thursday night, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora cited league sources in reporting that the Vikings had made acquiring Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb one of their top priorities. McNabb is expected to be traded or released by the Redskins before next season.

Ponder is just the third quarterback the Vikings have drafted in the first round in their 51-year history, joining Tommy Kramer in 1977 and Daunte Culpepper in 1999. Culpepper was a three-time Pro Bowl pick, but ever since he tore up his knee during a 2005 game, the Vikings have been piecing together short-term solutions at the game's most critical position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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