The Minnesota Vikings plan to give quarterback Christian Ponder a full workload in practice on Thursday to determine whether or not he can overcome a rib injury and start on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"He did a little less than we were hoping for (on Wednesday). We'll see if he can handle more today," Frazier told the Pioneer Press on Thursday. "Hopefully he doesn't have as much soreness as yesterday, but we'll see."
If Ponder is unable to play, the Vikings will turn to backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who took a majority of the snaps at practice Wednesday. Cassel went 1-7 in eight starts with Kansas City last season, completing 58% of his passes for 1,796 yards with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions before being benched. The Chiefs released Cassel in June.
After an 0-3 start, the Vikings desperately need a victory if they want to remain competitive in the NFC North. If Ponder is unable to go, it opens the door for Cassel, who was atrocious with Kansas City last year, to step into the starting role. The downgrade from Ponder to Cassel would hurt the rest of the Vikings passing game and could lead to the Steelers stacking the line of scrimmage against running back Adrian Peterson. If Ponder can practice fully on Thursday, he should be under center on Sunday.