Pondering Life As A Viking 3rd Stringer
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(Associated Press) — Christian Ponder's descent from first-round draft pick to third-string quarterback has been formalized, with the release of the first depth chart of the season by the Minnesota Vikings.
After losing the starting job to Matt Cassel last year and watching the team draft Teddy Bridgewater, Ponder entered the final year of his rookie contract in lame-duck mode, realizing the likelihood he'll soon be playing elsewhere.
Ponder says taking the least amount of turns in full-team drills has been frustrating for him, but he understands the situation. So while Bridgewater and Cassel are often surrounded by cameras and recorders in a swarm of reporters after practice, Ponder has usually walked off the field largely unnoticed.
Hoyer listed at No. 1...Dolphins activate Moreno
UNDATED (AP) — Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine has announced that Brian Hoyer, not rookie Johnny Manziel, will start the exhibition opener in Detroit. The first-year coach says Hoyer has "done nothing" to have his starting job taken away during training camp. Pettine also said Manziel could get some playing time with Cleveland's starters against the Lions on Saturday night.
In other training camp news:
— Miami Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno has been activated after recovering from a left knee injury that forced him to miss the first 12 days of training camp. Moreno signed a $3.275 million, one-year contract in March after five seasons with the Denver Broncos. He helped them reach the Super Bowl last year when he had a breakout season, rushing for 1,038 yards, catching 60 passes and scoring 13 touchdowns.
— Arizona Cardinals tight end Jake Ballard has announced his retirement from the NFL. He said in a statement that his body never has felt the same since he sustained a severe knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the 2012 Super Bowl. Ballard was signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Ohio State in 2010. He signed with the Cardinals in November of last year, appearing in eight games, three as a starter.
NFL-HALL OF FAME — The Pro Football Hall of Fame is adding a contributor category for nomination next year, which could expand the number of annual inductees to eight. Candidates for induction in the category will be defined as someone who has made "outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching." All nominees would still require 80 percent approval for induction.