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Report: Christian Ponder cleared; Matt Cassel No. 1 QB?

Christian Ponder practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, but that doesn't mean he will see the field Sunday.

Ponder reportedly has been cleared to play, but Matt Cassel is likely to start Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, ESPN reported Thursday.

"Yesterday it looked like he (Ponder) was a little bit more comfortable than he was over there in England," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Thursday. "So that's a process we're going to continue to go through today and hope he's even better."

Ponder suffered a rib injury in the VikingsWeek 3 loss to the Cleveland Browns; Cassel then led the Vikings to a Week 4 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The addition of Josh Freeman during the team's bye week muddled Minnesota's waters even more. Coach Leslie Fraziertold reporters Monday that Freeman won't play this week. He also said that he plans to watch Cassel and Ponder in practice before determining who will start in Week 6.

It wouldn't be a shock to see Cassel as the starter. The Freeman signing told us everything we needed to know about how the Vikings view Ponder.

This will be Freeman's team to guide as soon as he is up to speed.

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