NFL roundup: Cassel to start at QB for Vikings

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, replacing injured Christian Ponder against the Pittsburgh Steelers when the teams meet at Wembley Stadium in London.
Christian Ponder attempted to practice with what was revealed Friday as a fractured rib. He was on the practice field for the third straight day, but coach Leslie Frazier is giving Cassel the start for the winless Vikings.
Frazier said Ponder, who is 30th in the NFL in passer rating at 65.9, has a rib fracture. Ponder said Friday the injury is near his heart.
The embattled quarterback, booed mightily in his home stadium in Minneapolis last week, split repetitions with Cassel Wednesday and Thursday.
Cassel was released by Kansas City after the Chiefs went 2-14 last season. He has 30 turnovers in his last 18 games.

---Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman told ESPN in an interview that aired Thursday night that a trade is "probably the best option" for him.
Freeman lost his starting job to rookie Mike Glennon on Wednesday. It is possible Freeman won't even be active Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. According to reports, the Buccaneers are considering deactivating Freeman as punishment for giving "unauthorized interviews" since the demotion.

---The Indianapolis Colts announced that running back Ahmad Bradshaw is out for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars because of neck discomfort.
Trent Richardson, whom the Colts recently acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a first-round draft pick, is expected to carry the load on Sunday.

---Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor was medically cleared to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins but his status for the game remains uncertain.
Pryor sustained a concussion on Monday night against the Denver Broncos.
Coach Dennis Allen said Friday the team wants Pryor to pass one more test before it determines if he can play. If Pryor passes the test, he will play, but Allen did not say if he will start.

--Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice said he is a game-time decision against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Rice is recovering from a strained hip flexor he sustained Sept. 15 and missed last Sunday's game.

---Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson is expected to start Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
Johnson was previously considered a game-time decision by coach Gary Kubiak because he had been limited in practice this week due to a shin bruise.

---New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola stand only a slim chance of playing Sunday night at Atlanta.
ESPN's John Clayton said Gronkowski's forearm is holding him back and he likely needs another week of practice to be ready for game action.
However, the Boston Globe reported that "as of now" Gronkowski will play Sunday.

---Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin missed his third straight day of practice and has been ruled out of Sunday's game at the San Diego Chargers. Rookie Terrance Williams is slated to start in Austin's place.

--Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware returned to practice on Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday nursing a stinger. He practiced on a limited basis Friday and is listed as probable.

---The San Francisco 49ers are paying linebacker Aldon Smith while he is on the non-football injury/illness list, according to NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk.
Smith is in an unspecified treatment center getting help stemming from last week's arrest for suspicion of DUI.

--New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples (right ankle) returned to limited practice Friday and is probable for Sunday's game. He suffered a hairline fracture against the Jaguars on Aug. 17 and underwent surgery three days later.

---Jets running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) did not practice again and has been ruled out vs. Tennessee.

---Cleveland Browns kicker Billy Cundiff (thigh) returned to limited practice and is listed as questionable to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

--Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (thumb) is out for this week's game.

---Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was fined $10,000 by the NFL for using unapproved Under Armour visor clips on his helmet.

---The Chicago Bears signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen and placed defensive tackle Henry Melton on injured reserve because of a knee injury. Melton is out for the year with a torn ACL.

---Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh won't be fined by the NFL for hitting Arizona Cardinals' quarterback in the helmet with his elbow during Week 2, reported Friday.
According to the report, the league determined the blow was a violation of NFL rules, and there has been no explanation why it decided not to fine Suh.

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