Josh Freeman takes snaps with first team, expected to start for Vikings on Monday
While the timetable may have been stepped up by a week or two, it certainly should come as no surprise, given the dearth of talent the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings have at the position, that Josh Freeman is expected to be under center and starting at quarterback for the team when the team plays the winless New York Giants on Monday night.
It hasn’t been confirmed by anyone within the Vikings organization, but all indications point to Freeman being under center on Monday night after signing with the team a mere days ago on Oct. 6 after the quarterback was unceremoniously released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers among internal strife within the organization, including reported conflicts with head coach Greg Schiano.
Freeman reportedly took reps with the first team during practice on Wednesday at Winter Park, according to a tweet from Star Tribune‘s Vikings beat writer Chip Scoggins.
Perhaps making the situation a bit more interesting is that Christian Ponder, the beleaguered former starting quarterback in Minnesota, took snaps after Freeman and before Matt Cassel, who replaced Ponder a few weeks ago on top of the depth chart after Ponder went down with a significant rib injury.
Cassel played well in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers but struggled mightily at home last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, throwing two interceptions while being unable to move the offense in a 35-10 blowout loss.
Ian Rapoport tweeted that the only thing standing between the Vikings and the dawn of the Josh Freeman era is if Freeman was unable to prove to the team that he was “prepared with their plays to their satisfaction.”
Considering the abysmal quality of work put out by the other two quarterbacks on the Vikings roster, it shoudn’t be too difficult for Freeman to create some measure of confidence for the coaching staff in the coming days. Demonstrate the ability to complete a pass over 20 yards, hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson with precision, um, don’t stink. Yeah, that should be easy enough.
UPDATE: The Minnesota Vikings have confirmed via Twitter that Freeman will start on Monday night against the Giants:
Josh Freeman will start at QB against the Giants on Monday. pic.twitter.com/W8YUvNkBYf
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 16, 2013
According to Pro Football Talk, Vikings head coach told the media that “[Freeman] has adapted to our system. I like his work ethic. He has done enough for us to say that he is ready.” So there you go.