After getting his first repetitions with the offense and not just the scout team in practice last week, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Christian Ponder was on the active 46-man roster for the first time this season Sunday in Atlanta.
So, with three games left in the season at the time of his promotion to above Blaine Gabbert on the depth chart, why now?
"Because we’ve seen him in practice do some really good things and earn a spot," Kelly said. "It’s got nothing to do with Kap. I thought Kap played well [against Atlanta]. It’s just that [Ponder] earned the spot as the No. 2. I think he and Blaine are battling. Blaine’s been great, and I think both of those guys can play, but you can only dress two right now. We may dress three next week because we won’t have enough [players] to dress."
It wasn't a surprise that Ponder was the backup to Colin Kaepernick in a season during which he's been the only of the team's three quarterbacks not to get an opportunity to play in coach Chip Kelly's offense, the story said. When Ponder began getting more than scout team work, it was a clear signal he was going to get a chance to be active sooner rather than later.
MIN QB Christian Ponder - Week 5, 2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Christian Ponder - Week 5 vs. Green Bay
Starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is listed as questionable (ankle) and may not play in Thursday's game. If he can't go, Christian Ponder gets the start. Ponder took over at quarterback with about six and a half minutes left in the Week 4 game and didn't attempt a single pass.
The former first-round draft pick started the season as the third-string quarterback. Minnesota obviously doesn't see much in him so if he does get the start, he won't be worth a look.