Christian Ponder has rib injury

WATFORD, England -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder's status could be in doubt for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers thanks to a rib injury he apparently suffered early in this past Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Ponder still threw in the Vikings' practice on Wednesday afternoon but did less work than he normally would, as backup quarterback Matt Cassel got more repetitions in practice while Ponder rested.

"He looked like Christian," Cassel said. "He looked great, and he was throwing the ball fine."

Ponder emerged from the Vikings' first practice in the U.K. on Wednesday confident that he will play at Wembley Stadium.

"It's a little sore and it's going to be something I will have to work through, but I threw more than I thought I would be able to," Ponder said. "We'll wait to see how this week plays out, but my expectation and my hope is that I will be playing."

The details surrounding the injury did raise some questions, given that Ponder finished Sunday's game after getting hit in the first quarter and said on Wednesday he didn't know his injury was a concern until "I got the news yesterday morning that I'd been hurt."

Ponder has struggled through his first three games, throwing five interceptions against just two touchdowns and missing an open Greg Jennings on a throw that could have sealed Sunday's game against the Browns.

"My confidence hasn't wavered," said Ponder, who led the Vikings to the playoffs last season. "I have a great support staff around me with Adrian Peterson and the staff around me."

Peterson said he was always ready to give Ponder a pep talk, as he did when fans at Mall of America Field began jeering the quarterback during the Cleveland loss.

"He's bouncing back," the Vikings running back said. "I told him, 'You know the business. You know how it goes. Just stay focused and continue to work. You know what to do.'"

Frazier has said he didn't plan any major changes before Sunday's game at Wembley Stadium, but he sounded more concerned about Ponder's injury than Ponder did Wednesday.

"Our mindset is, we're going to push it to the limit and see what we can do, in a smart way," Frazier said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.