Vikings QB Ponder back at practice after suffering concussion

The plan is for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder to start in the season finale against the Chicago Bears after the rookie passed his post-concussion tests and participated in Wednesday's practice.

 

Ponder was knocked out of last Saturday's 33-26 victory over the Washington Redskins during the third quarter, but he didn't display any concussion-like symptoms the following day.

"Hopefully, it will continue throughout this week," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Wednesday of Ponder's progress. "But the plan is for him to start on Sunday."

Ponder said he took a test immediately after the injury and saw a neurologist Tuesday and was cleared to play, calling the baseline test "pretty intense."

"I guess I actually scored higher on my baseline tests, so maybe I got some sense knocked into me," Ponder deadpanned Wednesday.

Backup Joe Webb played superbly in Ponder's place, completing 4 of 5 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 34 yards and another score to lead the Vikings to just their third victory of the season.

 

It was the second time in the last three weeks that Webb, a sixth-round draft pick in his second season, has come in and played better than Ponder, who was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Webb's performance had observers questioning if he should be the team's starter in Sunday's season finale, regardless of Ponder's health.

Frazier was more definitive Wednesday that Ponder remains atop the depth chart and the coaching staff would continue to look for packages to get Webb on the field. Webb often lines up at wide receiver with Ponder in the game.

Cornerback Asher Allen also was cleared from a concussion to return Wednesday, and right guard Anthony Herrera (lower back) didn't practice. The Vikings placed seven-time Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson on injured reserve Tuesday because of a concussion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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