Christian Ponder: Shoulder improving

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder said his dislocated left shoulder continues to feel better.

Ponder also said he expects to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, provided his shoulder keeps improving throughout the week.

Ponder dislocated his shoulder while diving for the end zone on a 13-yard run last Thursday against the Washington Redskins, but an MRI showed no further damage to his shoulder.

"The thing with this injury is, it's not really going to hinder anything," he said. "It's not hindering my throwing motion or anything. It's just going to be taking a hit or something, and we don't have fear that it's going to get worse. It's just being able to handle the pain, and if I can do it, then I'll play."

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he would need to see what Ponder can do by Thursday's practice to determine if he can play, so it seems likely the coach will hold off on announcing whether Ponder will start his third consecutive game until then.

Frazier did not say whether Josh Freeman or Matt Cassel –- who relieved Ponder on Thursday –- would get the start on Sunday if Ponder can't play.

Ponder completed 17 of his 21 passes against the Redskins, throwing for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He briefly campaigned to stay in the game after injuring his shoulder but quickly went to the locker room once he was overruled by the team's medical staff.

"I wanted to be out there," Ponder said. "It was probably the smart decision not to put me back out there.

"The pain wasn't really that bad at that point -- the adrenaline was still going. But once we were in the locker room, I started feeling it, and it hurt pretty bad. We ended up winning the game. Matt played well, so it was a good decision, I guess."