The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

September 27, 2013

Cassel gets start at QB against Steelers in London

LONDON (AP) — Matt Cassel will get a chance to steer the Minnesota Vikings to their first win of the season — and maybe put himself in position for a more regular role.

Cassel will replace injured starter Christian Ponder at quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Wembley Stadium. The Vikings (0-3) ruled out Ponder on Friday with a fractured rib sustained in last weekend's 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

"We worked with Matt in the mindset that this was a possibility, so I think we're prepared in that way," coach Leslie Frazier said. "He's been in this role before. His veteran presence — you can feel it. So there was no shock this week as he got more and more reps. I think (the team) will handle it the right way."

Cassel hasn't played a down this season since signing a two-year deal with the Vikings in the offseason. The former New England Patriot threw six touchdowns and 12 interceptions in nine games for the 2-14 Chiefs last season.

"I've been preparing for this and I feel like I'm ready to go," Cassel said. "I feel comfortable with this offense. I'm excited about it. That's what you prepare for as a backup."

Frazier is hoping Cassel will go out at Wembley and make a statement.

"I'm hoping that he shines, but I don't foresee a quarterback controversy," Frazier said. "We want him to play lights out and have the best game of his NFL career on Sunday."

If Cassel does shine, it could leave Frazier with a decision on who to start against the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 13 after the bye week.

Ponder, a third-year pro, has struggled this season, throwing two touchdowns and five interceptions for a 65.9 passer rating. He also has lost two fumbles.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors
Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Dallas Cowboys NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets NHL Western Conference playoff preview Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Damian Lillard's Oakland upbringing Niners' legal troubles Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Marcus Spears on the Wonderlic test Bubba Watson's Response to a Question About Last Year's Masters is Priceless With The Sixth Pick, The Atlanta Falcons Select...