American Football Wiki
Christian Ponder
No. 2     Denver Broncos
Personal information
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Weight: 229 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College: Florida State
NFL Draft: 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Debuted in 2011 for the Minnesota Vikings
Career history

*denotes offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards

  • 2011 Senior Bowl MVP
Career NFL statistics
Stats at

Christian Andrew Ponder (born February 25, 1988) is a quarterback for the Denver Broncos of the NFL. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. He played college football at Florida State.

Professional Career[]

Minnesota Vikings[]


In week 7 of the 2011 NFL season, Ponder got his first NFL start against the Green Bay Packers where he threw 13-32 with 219 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Vikings lost 33-27.


Ponder was named the starting quarterback for the beginning of the 2012 season. In Minnesota's first two games the team went 1-1 with an overtime win over Jacksonville and a close loss to Andrew Luck and the Colts. In Week 3 against the San Francisco 49ers, Ponder and the Vikings pulled off the biggest upset of the week by beating the 49ers at home 24-13 to bring the team's record to 2-1.

After starting the first 15 games of the season for the Vikings, Ponder led the team, along with Adrian Peterson who was trying to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, in the final week of the season against the rival Green Bay Packers. The Vikings needed a win to advance to the playoffs while a loss would result in the Vikings missing the playoffs. Ponder went 16-28 with 234 yards and 3 touchdowns in a 37-34 win on a last-second 29-yard field goal by Blair Walsh.[1]

Ponder missed the wildcard playoff game against the Packers due to an arm injury which resulted in backup Joe Webb getting the start in a Vikings loss.


At the start of the 2013 season, Ponder was the starting quarterback for the Vikings with Matt Cassel and McLeod Bethel-Thompson as his backups. After starting the first 3 games of the season and going 59-100 with 2 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and 691 yards, Ponder was held out of the Vikings' week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in London with a rib injury.[2] The Vikings started Cassel instead and the Vikings picked up their first win of the season. After a bye week, Ponder still could not play and Cassel once again started in week 6 against the Panthers, this time resulting in a Vikings loss. On October 17, it was announced the Vikings would start Josh Freeman against the New York Giants in week 7.[3] After a lackluster performance from Freeman the Vikings re-inserted Ponder into the starting role for the next 5 weeks, culminating in the Vikings' week 12 tie with the Packers. Due to a combination of his lingering rib injury and poor performance, the Vikings announced Cassel as the starter for the rest of the season.


Ponder was one of three quarterbacks on the Vikings' roster to start 2014, along with veteran Matt Cassel and rookie first-rounder Teddy Bridgewater. Ponder was never really expected to play or be a factor for a team but after Cassel went on IR and Bridgewater struggled with injury, Ponder was forced to start in week 5 against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder completed half of his passes and threw 0 TD's versus 2 interceptions as the Vikings fell to the Packers 10-42. Ponder did not play the rest of the season and was not retained by the Vikings when his contract expired.

Oakland Raiders[]

On March 13, 2015, Ponder agreed to a one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders where he was expected to compete with Matt Schaub and Matt McGloin for the backup position behind incumbent starter Derek Carr.[4] Ponder's one year deal was worth $2.25 million with $1.5 million of that coming as a guaranteed signing bonus.[5]

On September 4th, the Raiders cut Ponder as part of the team's final roster cuts.[6]

Denver Broncos[]

After starting quarterback Peyton Manning was injured, the Denver Broncos signed Ponder as depth behind new starter Brock Osweiler prior to Week 12 of the 2015 season.[7]

External Links[]


  1. Adrian Peterson nearly sets record, powers Vikings into playoffs. Associated Press.
  2. Goessling, Ben (27 Sept 2013). Vikings' Christian Ponder ruled out.
  3. Goessling, Ben (16 Oct 2013). Josh Freeman to start for Vikings.
  4. Adams, Luke (13 Mar 2015). Raiders To Sign Christian Ponder. Retrieved on 5 Sep 2015.
  6. Byrne, Connor (4 Sep 2015). Raiders To Release Christian Ponder. Retrieved on 5 Sep 2015.
  7. Adams, Luke (25 Nov 2015). Broncos Sign Christian Ponder. Pro Football Rumors.