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Christian Ponder: Marriage to ESPN's Samantha Steele 'not going to be a distraction'

Christian Ponder doesn't believe his marriage to ESPN reporter Sam Steele is going to be a distraction.

Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder married ESPN's Samantha Steele, essentially the network's replacement for Erin Andrews, who left for FOX Sports, even though the couple had only been dating for a few months.

The Vikings' second-year quarterback decided to tie the knot with Steele on Monday -- less than a week before the Vikings head to Houston to take on the 12-2 Texans, as the Vikings battle for a wild-card berth in the NFC.

Still, Ponder doesn't believe the marriage, or the timing of the marriage, is a distraction, as the Vikings prepare for their biggest game of the season. Per ESPN1500:

Not at all. It hasn't deterred anything from what I did, routine Monday and Tuesday. I was in here and got my film work in. Obviously, it's a big deal, but it wasn't a distraction at all.

Ponder went on to say that it was important to wed prior to the holidays, and that there were a lot of "personal reasons" that went into the decision to officially marry Steele on Monday.

Minnesota's quarterback has not eclipsed 200 yards passing since the Vikings' win over the Lions on Nov. 11. Since then, Ponder has passed for 159, 119, 91 and 131 yards.

Perhaps the marriage will help ease Ponder's mind. The Vikings will certainly need him to play well in the team's final two games if they're going to make the playoffs.

At the very least, he has a new wife to impress now -- so Vikings fans can be somewhat optimistic.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.