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By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Eden Prairie, MN - It shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody who has been following the Vikings through the first eight weeks of this season to learn that it looks as if the quarterback carousel will continue spinning as the Vikings prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday.
With everybody scrambling for a win this weekend, common sense may tell you that Matt Cassel give Minnesota the best chance to win. After all, he did lead the Vikings to their lone win on the season, he has posted the highest passer rating in the team's QB trio this year and he's the only one that seemed to create some sort of rhythm in the backfield. So why, six days before kickoff in Dallas, is Matt Cassel the only quarterback who has been ruled out of the mix already?
Monday afternoon Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier met with the media to recap Sunday's 44-31 loss to the Packers and begin turning his gaze towards the Cowboys. While an official decision will not come until later in the day on Monday, Frazier did make some statements regarding the battle for starting quarterback.
"I'm thinking [the battle will be] more with Christian [Ponder] along with Josh [Freeman]," Frazier said Monday. "I don't want to discount Matt but Christian did some good things in that ball game [yesterday]. He has led us to some wins in the past. With Josh, we brought him in here to evaluate him and determine if he could be a guy that could be a potential player for us in the future."
In essence, Frazier is saying without saying that the only reason Matt Cassel won't fill in as starter this weekend is because of his age. Now, I'm not accusing Frazier of ageism, but more noting the strategy here. What this tells me is that, despite finding the quarterback who may give you the best chance to win this weekend, the Vikings are looking into the future already. Admitting that this season is a wash and auditioning for a longer-term solution. At 31 years old, Cassel is unlikely to fill any long-term voids with this team.
In all likelihood, the Christian Ponder ship has already sailed as well and it's Josh Freeman's job to lose for this week. Ponder simply remains as the unofficial backup plan in the case that Freeman's concussion symptoms linger or he is unable to take steps within the playbook.
I wouldn't expect an official announcement to come until later in the week as the Vikings will look to hang on to any competitive advantage they can muster, as long as they can hold it. Like I said, I expect it to be Freeman effectively continuing his audition process that was so rudely interrupted by that concussion.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN