Photo - Harry Engels (Getty Images)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - After arriving back on U.S. soil late in the day on Monday, head coach Leslie Frazier met the media early Tuesday afternoon to re-hash the Vikings 34-27 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London. It shouldn't serve as a surprise but the topic of the day continued to surround the quarterback position and the starting status that may be up in the air between Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel. It also shouldn't surprise anybody to learn that Leslie Frazier was noncommittal with the Bye Week ahead of him.
Asked whether or not Christian would start after the bye, Frazier said, "Christian is still injured, but yeah he's our starting quarterback. We'll see how he does coming out of the bye."
Sunday afternoon, with Ponder on the sidelines, Matt Cassel threw for 248 yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 64% of his passes and posting a 123.4 passer rating. Still, Frazier remains noncommittal.
"It's hard to be concrete when you know that Christian is dealing with an injury," Frazier said Tuesday afternoon. "I don't want to take anything away from what Matt did, but we'll try to do what's best for our team. If we thought that Matt gave us the best chance to beat Carolina, then we'd approach that situation as well. If Christian is healthy, then we'll see what we have to do."
There's no doubt that it's the long-term ramifications of this decision are what is holding Frazier back from making the early decision. Realistically, if the Vikings go the way of Matt Cassel for the remainder of the year, Christian's career as a starting quarterback in the NFL will be in jeopardy. But then again, if Frazier (and/or Rick Spielman) make the decision to go with Ponder out of sheer stubbornness, Vikings fans may very well burn the Metrodome to the ground.
Whether or not it was the politically correct answer, Frazier doesn't see it that way.
"I don't think our fans will be upset [if Ponder starts against the Panthers]," Frazier continued to say. "They just want the Vikings to win...I would expect our fans to be cheering for everybody that's wearing purple on Sunday when we get back home."
Unfortunately, that's not the way that NFL fans operate and one of the players in question remembers it all too well. It was Matt Cassel who, as a member of the Chiefs, was received cheers from the home fans after suffering a severe concussion in 2012 only a year ago.
So, we're left with a week and a half long wait to find out who it will be under center for the Vikings next game.
"We'll probably take a similar approach to what we did a week ago," Frazier said about the timing of their decision to start or sit Ponder. "If he's not able to function at a level where we feel like he should be by Friday of game week, then we'll probably make a decision."
Welcome to the NFL everybody. Isn't this fun?!?
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN