Vikings need Ponder to build on decent half - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Vikings need Ponder to build on decent half


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Christian Ponder has a lot more to prove if the Minnesota Vikings are going to commit to him as their quarterback beyond this year.

Ponder's performance in Chicago following a costly interception was strong enough for him to keep getting the chance to show he can be a capable starter. Now he and the Vikings badly need him to build on that.

Coach Leslie Frazier said he didn't consider benching Ponder after his fifth turnover of the season was returned for a second-quarter touchdown. Frazier said he was encouraged by the way Ponder looked him in the eye after the interception.

Ponder said he's learned to put those mistakes behind him more quickly.

The Vikings host Cleveland this Sunday in a matchup of 0-2 teams.

Meanwhile, the Browns third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer will start Sunday against the Vikings in place of Brandon Weeden, who sprained his right thumb last week.

Cleveland has decided to go with Hoyer over more experienced backup Jason Campbell. The veteran came in for one series in the fourth quarter against Baltimore after Weeden injured his thumb when he banged it on a teammate's helmet while making a pass. Campbell has 71 career starts.

It's a dream assignment for Hoyer, who grew up in Cleveland rooting for the Browns. He signed with his hometown team in May after spending last season with Arizona.

Hoyer made one start with the Cardinals. He spent the three previous seasons in New England as Tom Brady's backup.

Hoyer was third on the Browns' depth chart all summer and inactive in Cleveland's first two games.

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