Christian Ponder to critics: 'Why would I not want to be out playing?'


Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is striking back at critics who say he should have sucked it up and played against Green Bay Saturday, injured arm and all.

In a radio interview with KFAN-FM 100.3's Paul Allen -- the play-by-play voice of the Vikings -- Ponder was asked about players and fans who doubted his toughness.

"Why would I not want to be out playing," Ponder shot back, adding that he was "really disappointed" he wasn't able to contribute.

Ponder, who was benched in Saturday's playoff loss in favor of backup Joe Webb, was hurt in the regular season finale against the Packers at the Metrodome. His arm hit the helmet of Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett in the second quarter, but he finished the game -- despite the injury.

"It was painful for that whole game after I got hit," Ponder said. "Even on that last throw to (Michael) Jenkins, I didn’t get a lot of the ball -- but adrenaline is a heckuva thing. By Monday morning, I couldn’t even bend my arm 90 degrees. I played with pain my entire career … it wasn’t a thing about pain ... I couldn’t throw the football. I had no strength on the arm to put any velocity on the ball. Joe was a lot more effective at quarterback than I ever could have."

If you haven't seen his bruised arm yet, check out this photo, tweeted Monday by the Star Tribune:

On other topics, Ponder seemed equally as candid:

On Percy Harvin returning to the Vikings in 2013:
“I’m not sure, I don’t know. I’m not sure what Rick Spielman’s going to be doing. It would be nice to have him, he’s a heckuva player. He was a good teammate.”

On Harvin's alleged displeasure with Ponder's mid-season passing performance:
“I never knew if he had a problem with me or not.”

On the Packers in the NFL playoffs:
"I don’t think anyone wants Green Bay to win it. I definitely would like to see Green Bay lose.”

Ponder's appearance Tuesday morning followed a chat with reporters at Winter Park Monday as the Vikings were clearing out their lockers for the season.

You can see that news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, RIGHT HERE.

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