GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- The Minnesota Vikings were without starting quarterback Christian Ponder for their 24-10 NFC wild-card game loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
However, why he was inactive is up for debate. The Vikings said Ponder, who was limited mostly to mental work at practice this week, was out with a sore right throwing elbow. However, he told 1500ESPN.com after the game he had suffered a triceps injury in last week's victory over the Packers that clinched a playoff spot.
Regardless of the injury, Ponder tested his arm during the pregame pratice. After watching Ponder throw, the Vikings made the determination to make him one of their seven inactive players.
"It's just a deep contusion in the triceps and basically like a deep thigh bruise but in my throwing arm," Ponder said after the game."A little bit of pain, but I can play with pain. The biggest thing is the lost flexibility. I couldn't get the ball in the position to where I could throw it normally and lost a lot of power and everything. It just wouldn't have been wise to play."
In his place, Minnesota started Joe Webb, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game after not starting in a regular-season game. He completed 11 of 30 passes for 180 yards and ran for 68 yards on seven carries.
Webb, a sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Alabama-Birmingham, started two games in place of an injured Brett Favre in 2010 and also got significant action in a pair of games in 2011. He's thrown passes in 10 games and completed 88-of-152 (57.9 percent) for 853 yards, with three touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 66.6.
This season, he's played in only one game and did not register any statistics.
Ponder said he didn't lobby coach Leslie Frazier to play after warmups.
"I think it was just clear it wasn't going to work," Ponder said."Obviously I really wanted to play but just consulting with (Vikings athletic trainer) Eric Sugarman, our training staff and some of the doctors. Just said it was probably wise to get ready and let it rest and hopefully be ready for Atlanta next week."
Ponder, Minnesota's first-round pick in 2011, didn't have gaudy statistics, though he did convert six third-down plays through the air as Minnesota earned a playoff berth with a 37-34 win over Green Bay last week. His 120.2 passer rating in that game was the best of his brief career, and he matched a career high with three touchdowns. He was injured when hit by blitzing safety Morgan Burnett during that game.