Vikings lose QB Ponder to left shoulder injury

Updated: November 8, 2013, 2:04 AM ET

Ben Goessling |

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder left the team’s win over the Washington Redskins after dislocating his left shoulder when he tried to stretch for a touchdown on a 15-yard run toward the end of the third quarter. But Ponder said he plans to be ready for the team’s next game in 10 days against the Seattle Seahawks.

“My expectations are, I’m going to be back next week,” Ponder said. “We’ve got a great athletic training staff. They’re going to do me right. I’m going to do everything I can to be back next Sunday.”

Ponder lobbied to stay in the game after trainers put his shoulder back into place, but he said the team made the right call by taking him out of the game. Matt Cassel took over at quarterback for the Vikings, handing off to Adrian Peterson for a touchdown that put the Vikings up 28-27. But Ponder’s injury adds yet another twist to the Vikings’ quarterback situation, just as he was in the middle of one of his best games with the team.

After throwing an early interception on a deep ball to Greg Jennings, Ponder hit 16 of his next 20 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Vikings rebound from a 27-14 deficit to take the lead. He was starting his third straight game for the Vikings, who also have used Cassel and Josh Freeman as starting quarterbacks this year. And as embattled as Ponder has been this season, the Vikings might be hoping he can return soon.

“I think Christian’s really growing,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “He’s more confident. He’s showing more command. He’s growing as a leader. Just the fact that he never got shaken, even after that interception. I’m sure he’ll tell you, that was not the right decision to throw that football where he threw it. But that did not cause him to go in the tank and have self-doubt. He came back and played some of his best football. He’s growing and maturing as a quarterback.”

  • Previously covered Vikings for St. Paul Pioneer Press
  • Also covered Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild and Washington Nationals
  • Twin Cities native and University of Minnesota graduate

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