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Ponder expects to start, wants to play through the pain

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The Vikings have yet to make a decision on which of their three quarterbacks -- Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman -- will start Sunday against the Seahawks, but Ponder expects that he'll be given the opportunity.

The question is whether he can handle the pain that will accompany the shoulder he dislocated a week ago in Minnesota's win over Washington.

"Honestly it's a lot better than I expected to be all week," he told the Star Tribune on Thursday. "I was a little pessimistic about what was going to happen over the weekend. I was very uncomfortable. I woke up Monday and Tuesday and I kept feeling better and better. Our training staff has done such a great job of getting me to feel better. So I threw it around a lot more than I expected to [Wednesday]. And each day it's going to keep getting better.''

Ponder added that he won't wear any extra padding and he's hoping the Seahawks don't target his shoulder. Nonetheless, Ponder expects to feel some pain.

"It's a great opportunity to show guys you can play with injury; everybody has the quarterback as the softest position in the room," Ponder said, via the Pioneer Press. "So it's an opportunity to get out there and show a little toughness."

While Ponder expects to start, head coach Leslie Frazier hasn't given a public commitment yet.

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