Steelers should expect Matt Cassel to start for Vikings

Hannah Foslien

Christian Ponder did not practice Friday, making it seem certain Matt Cassel will start at quarterback when the Vikings take on the Steelers in London.

The Vikings took quickly to their London-based practice facility after their Week 3 loss to Cleveland.

Some suggest the strategy was to avoid the stateside media, helping to focus on a regular season game in a foreign land. Some might also come to the conclusion they used the relatively careless British press to quietly instill a quarterback change.

Not to make a mountain out of a molehill, but Vikings QB Christian Ponder didn't seem particularly injured through the team's Week 3 game. Now, it seems as if that injury, reported to be in his ribs, will keep him out of Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.

Veteran QB Matt Cassel took all of the team's practice snaps Friday, and while the team has not declared it as of yet, it seems as if Cassel will make his first start of the 2013 season.

The Steelers are 2-1 against Cassel, having beaten his Kansas City Chiefs 16-13 in overtime last year. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons intercepted Cassel on the Chiefs' opening overtime drive, setting up the game-winning chip shot field goal from Shaun Suisham.

Ponder has seven turnovers so far this season, and while he's played reasonably well for stretches of time, he appeared skittish against lackluster pass protection.

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