MINNESOTA VIKINGS UPDATE 

lPONDER REALIZES HE HAS SOMETHING TO PROVE; PATTERSON LIMITED

According to 1500ESPN.com's Andrew Krammer, Christian Ponder didn't scoff at a ranking that placed him near the bottom of the league's 32 passers.

Instead, he said ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski's leaderboard that placed Ponder at No. 27, was right.

"The 27th ranking, probably is rightfully so with how I've played," Ponder said. "The good thing about that is it leaves me with a lot of opportunity to improve."

Ponder finished his sophomore effort with an 81.2 quarterback rating (21st), 62.1 completion percentage (13th) and 183 passing yards per game (31st, only Jacksonville's Blaine Gabbert was worse).

That said, Jaworski's analysis suggested Ponder can move seven spots up his rankings with one, albeit huge, change in his game.

"It's time to play more consistently from the pocket," Jaworski said. "If Ponder does that, he could well be in my top 20 next year."

Despite having just as shaky of a preseason, Ponder said he expects the offense to be in full swing when they open the season against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

"We expect to start off in midseason form," Ponder said. "I don't know if that's reality. But our expectation is we're going to click."

A retooled receiving corps featuring Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson offers an upside for Ponder, but even in limited exhibition action, Jennings only caught three passes while Ponder often looked uncertain as a pocket passer.

Regardless, Ponder's play in his third year will tell if he's the franchise quarterback the Vikings wanted when drafting him 12th overall in 2011. ...

From a fantasy perspective, Jaworski seems to have Ponder's value about right, too. Until the QB proves otherwise, he's low-level bye-week filler....

Also of interest. ... Patterson (back) was listed as limited in practice. His status bears watching in coming days. Jarius Wright (concussion) was not on the injury report and seemed to be a full participant in practice. Wright was back returning simulated punts along with Patterson and Marcus Sherels, who are the team's starting kick and punt returners, respectively.


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