Christian Ponder said he would have played in the Minnesota Vikings’ wild-card playoff game at Lambeau Field if he could have, but the deep contusion on the triceps of his throwing arm took velocity and range of motion away.
After explaining the injury following Saturday’s game, Ponder was back for further clarification on Monday as Vikings players left the locker room following their season-ending exit meetings. After talking to reporters, he revealed the extent of the injury for visual proof, showing the deep bruising from his arm to his elbow.
Ponder had a busy day leading up to the Saturday night game against the Packers. He received extra treatment and even tried throwing at the pool at the team’s hotel, but when he came out to test the arm about two hours before the game, it was apparent he was far from full strength. He tried to throw a few weak passes and appeared to have a hard time even extending the arm fully.
“It was (crazy Saturday). Obviously it wasn’t as much fun as I wanted it to be. I wanted to be out there,” he said. “Frustrating day, but out of my control. It’s something that makes me hungry to be able to get back and play in a playoff game next year.”
Ponder said no surgery will be needed.
“Every day it feels a little better. I think the flexibility, it gets better every day, but it’s still got some time to get better.”
He reiterated his stance from Saturday that he was optimistic throughout the week that it would get better and he would be able to play, but the bruising didn’t subside enough to allow that to happen.
He injured the arm on Dec. 30 when he hit it on the helmet of Packers safety Morgan Burnett as the defender came on a blitz and Ponder unloaded a pass in the second quarter. Ponder finished that game, but he said the velocity on his passes was affected in the second half.
“Obviously I had issues at that point. I had issues once the game was over. Even in the game last week, the second Green Bay game, I had issues that game after that hit in the first half. We wanted to be optimistic about me playing, but there were some things that it was tough,” he said.
“Once I left the game on that Sunday, it was pretty tough to even move it. We were optimistic. We put a lot of time and treatment and we saw progressions each day that maybe we had some hope that by 7 o’clock Saturday night it would be ready to go. It just didn’t come into fruition.”
Ponder said he executed some handoffs in practices last week, but his throwing was essentially limited to light tosses with trainers on the side, which was about the extent of what he could do before Saturday’s playoff loss.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.