Ponder ruled out for Vikings with rib injury.
The Minnesota Vikings will hand Matt Cassel a start at quarterback for the clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley on Sunday.
First choice starter Christian Ponder suffered a fractured rib in the second quarter of last Sunday’s loss to the Cleveland Browns, and had been a doubt this week.
Initial reports suggested it was nothing serious, with the Minnesota equipment team on standby to hand him additional padding to protect the knock.
However, after a CT scan revealed he had a fracture he was immediately ruled out of the clash which will now see Cassel handed the opportunity to step in and perform.
“We just made a decision, what’s best for me and my health and for this team,” Ponder said Friday as reported by ESPN.
“It stinks, but it is what it is, and I’ll be back in for Carolina [on Oct. 13].”
Ponder has struggled for consistency so far this season, with the former first-round pick throwing five interceptions to just two touchdown passes in three games.
Meanwhile, Cassel was signed by the Vikings to a two-year deal worth $7.4m back in March, after the Kansas City Chiefs opted to release him having decided to bring in Alex Smith.
“I’ve been through it a lot, but at the same time, you still get those butterflies and everything,” said Cassel.
“I just found out this morning, right before practice. But at the same time, we’ve been preparing for this. I had a good week of practice. I feel like I’m ready to go.”
Coach Leslie Frazier also has various other injury worries to contend with, but will be hoping those fit enough to take to the field can kick-start their season against the Steelers, with both teams falling to a 0-3 start to the campaign.