Christian Ponder returned to Minnesota Vikings' practice in London on Thursday and is expected o start against the Pittsburgh Steelers with tender ribs.
The embattled quarterback, booed mightily in his home stadium in Minneapolis last week, split repetitions with backup Matt Cassel Thursday and veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings noticed one major difference.
"He's more verbal, kind of commanding in the huddle," Jennings said of Cassel. "That's the difference. That comes with him having more experience."
Jennings did pay Ponder showed no noticeable affects from the rib injury he suffered Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns.
Head coach Leslie Frazier said the notion that the Vikings are pulling for Cassel to play this week is without merit.
"We want Christian to play," Frazier said.
Ponder, Minnesota's first-round pick in 2011, and Cassel, an undrafted free agent who owned 62 career starts in eight seasons with the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs before signing as a backup with the Vikings, will find out who gets the start Friday. Frazier said he'll base the decision on Ponder's two practices this week, including Friday.
Cassel was released by Kansas City after the Chiefs went 2-14 last season. He has 30 turnovers in his last 18 games.