Christian Ponder's status uncertain

WATFORD, England -- Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder was able to take the majority of the Vikings' practice snaps on Thursday, and was able to throw with extra padding around his ribs. But if Ponder's rib injury is still limiting him after Friday's practice, the team could name Matt Cassel the starter for Sunday.

Frazier said Cassel took the majority of practice snaps Wednesday and pointed out that "we signed Matt Cassel for occasions like this -- if something were to happen to Christian."

Despite the team being 0-3 and the third-year starter struggling, Frazier rejected the notion that Ponder's injury presents a convenient reason to switch quarterbacks.

"It's purely circumstantial if that happens," Frazier said. "I don't know if there's any logic in there. We want Christian to play. We want him to get out there and continue to grow and develop as a quarterback."

Considering that the main concern Ponder raised Wednesday was his ability to handle contact, the Vikings probably won't be able to put him through a full test in practice this week.

Ponder said he wore extra padding on his ribs for several games in college and seemed comfortable with the idea of doing it again Sunday.

"It was better [on Thursday than Wednesday]," Ponder said. "I definitely did a lot more than we expected to. We've been getting a lot of treatment. Hopefully, it's healing. I'll keep getting more reps [on Friday], and we'll have to sit down with [trainer Eric Sugarman] and Coach [Frazier] and make a call."