Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder might recover from his concussion in time to punctuate this season with a positive performance in the season finale against Chicago on Sunday.
"Christian is still our No. 1 quarterback, but you do have to take a real good look at Joe," coach Leslie Frazier said.
Ponder, who suffered a concussion in the third quarter of the Vikings' 33-26 win over Washington on Saturday, is improving but must pass the NFL's protocol before returning to play.
Ponder must pass the ImPACT test, exercise without symptoms and get clearance from both a physician and the NFL's neurologist in order to be cleared, trainer Eric Sugarman said Monday.
"He's doing excellent today, really doesn't have any symptoms, and I hope for a fast and speedy recovery," Sugarman said.
If Ponder plays, the Vikings can get one more look at their first-round draft pick in hopes he'll offset his recent struggles.
Ponder was benched Dec. 11 against Detroit after throwing three interceptions while dealing with a hip pointer injury, led the offense to six three-and-outs in a loss to New Orleans and finished 8 of 13 for 68 yards against Washington.