Christian Ponder tried to give it a go in pregame warmups two hours before tonight's wild card playoff game against the Packers, but, after tossing some passes quite gingerly, he left the field and, 30 minutes later, was announced as inactive.
As a result, Joe Webb will start for the Vikings. Webb hasn't thrown a pass all season. His only action of the season was to take a kneel-down – giving him a regular season stat line of no passes and one carry for minus-1 yard.
Ponder emerged from the locker more than two hours before game time but only threw a few short passes before heading back inside with head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman while Joe Webb and McLeod Bethel-Thompson remained on the field for a much more extensive warmup. Ponder remained inside the locker room for a second round of warmups with receivers.
Ponder was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report and was limited throughout the week.
Ponder suffered a bruise on his right (throwing) elbow last Sunday when he took a hit from Packers safety Morgan Burnett on a blitz. Ponder downplayed the injury earlier this week, but head coach Leslie Frazier was reserving judgment.
"I think he's going to be alright. He's going to do everything he can to be sure he's ready to go. He did a lot more stuff mental than physical right now. He should be fine," Frazier said Thursday, the last time he addressed the media before Saturday's game.
"It's a little bit tight for him. He's got to loosen up a little bit some things with it. … He's going to do everything he can to be ready for this ballgame."
Ponder had a career-high 120.2 passer rating Sunday against the Packers as he threw three touchdown passes.
CB Antoine Winfield was also listed as questionable on Friday's injury report with a fractured bone in his right hand, but he is active. He said on Thursday that he is playing because this is the playoffs.
"Absolutely. I'm not coming out of this game. I have the whole offseason to recover," Winfield said. "I'll be good."
The other inactives for the Vikings are WR Stephen Burton, CB Brandon Burton, LB Tyrone McKenzie, G Troy Kropog, DE D'Aundre Reed and DE George Johnson.
The inactives for the Packers are WRs Donald Driver and Jarrett Boykin, RB James Starks, LB Frank Zombo, CB Davon House, DE Jerel Worthy and DT. Jordan Miller.
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