The Minnesota Vikings are going to take a good, long look at their backup quarterback position during the final preseason game, as starter Christian Ponder is going to be held out. This is generally the norm around the NFL - the third game of the preseason gives the starters the most time, while week four sees most of the starters take a break.
But should Ponder get some more time, or should the offensive line, which has three new starters, get some time as well? Kevin Seifert of ESPN took a reader question that touches on that specifically, and he sheds some light on the situation:
A second point remains valid, however. Should the Vikings consider Ponder an established player? Or should he have received more preseason work? Ponder unofficially took 52 snaps over the first three preseason games, more than any starter in the NFC North and among the top eight of all NFL starters, based on an examination of preseason attempts, sacks and scrambles. So you could fairly argue that he got more work than a majority of NFL starters this summer.
Players like Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer all played longer than Ponder this preseason, while Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers played just one less snap, according to Seifert. So there is the argument there that Ponder is in with some company that he doesn't belong with. That being said, the Vikings were hurt by injuries a season ago and with running back Adrian Peterson returning from some serious issues, they need to make sure they're at their healthiest when Week 1 rolls around, and that includes Ponder.