Ponder absolutely starting, Freeman ruled out


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Nothing is official with the Vikings until the Vikings say so.

Even though it's been clear for days that Christian Ponder is going to start Sunday's game against the Packers, the Vikings waited until today to confirm the speculation. Ponder confirmed the speculation two days ago when he said he doesn't plan on giving back the starting job.

The team also ruled out quarterback Josh Freeman. The former Buccaneers QB missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with concussion-like symptoms. He was back on the practice field today after being cleared by team doctors. Freeman said he didn't notice the concussion-like symptoms until after the Monday night game.

"I just learned this talking to the doctors, but oftentimes with concussions they don’t really start showing noticeable symptoms until hours later," he said. "That was the case on Monday night and really Tuesday morning is when I got the full onslaught of symptoms. In the game, when you're focused and locked in on your job, oftentimes the man concussed is the last to really truly notice anything is off. It’s something that is definitely going to heighten my awareness toward it.”

According to the Star Tribune, Freeman wasn't aware that former NFL star turned analyst Rodney Harrison accused him of faking the symptoms so he didn't have to play.

"I can't say that I believe he has a concussion," Harrison told NBC Sports Radio. "I can't say that I'm 100 percent sold out. I'm not trying to doubt the seriousness of his injury if he has one, but it just seems like a convenient excuse to get out of a situation. That's what it seems like."

Freeman was historically bad, completing just 20-53 pass attempts against the Giants Monday night.

Tight end Rhett Ellison, running back Matt Asiata and wide receiver Rodney Smith were also ruled out with injuries. Read the full injury report at Vikings.com.

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