Minnesota Sports Briefs: Ponder expected to start for VikingsMinnesota Sports
-- Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has passed all of his concussion tests and is expected to start under center in the team's season-finale against the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Minneapolis.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Christian Ponder has passed all of his concussion tests and is expected to start under center in the team's season-finale against the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Minneapolis.
Ponder returned to practice for the first time on Wednesday since being knocked out of Week 16's contest against Washington Ponder says he felt fine in yesterday's workout. Kickoff on Sunday is set for noon.
Two Vikings were honored with year-end awards yesterday at Winter Park. Linebacker Chad Greenway was named the 2011 Vikings Community Man of the Year. Greenway and his wife Jenni's charity work through the Vikings and their own foundation earned the University of Iowa product the award. And, receiver Percy Harvin was named the winner of the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award. That honor is given to a Vikings player who is cooperative with the local media throughout the year.
The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Edwin Williams to a two-year contract extension. The deal was announced Wednesday and locks up the 25-year-old lineman through the 2013 season. Williams has appeared in 14 games this season, including the last six as Chicago's starting left guard. He has played for the Bears the past two years after spending his rookie season with the Washington Redskins. The Bears are in Minnesota on Sunday.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had yesterday off with no game or no practice. The team will hit the practice floor today in preparation for tomorrow's home game against Miami. Minnesota is 0-2 on the season with losses to Oklahoma City and Milwaukee. The Heat's visit will bring two of the NBA superstars into Minnesota with Miami's Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. Tip-off tomorrow is 7 p.m. Dwyane Wade's shot with 2.9 second remaining lifted the Heat to a 96-95 comeback win over the Bobcats last night in North Carolina. Miami trailed by 15 at halftime. LeBron James collected 35 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the win.
The University of Minnesota men's hockey team hosts the 21st annual Mariucci Classic this weekend. The second-ranked Golden Gophers will welcome Princeton, Niagra and Northeastern to Mariucci Arena. Northeastern and Princeton play the first game Friday and Minnesota and Niagra face off in the evening matchup. Sophomore Nick Bjugstad and freshman Kyle Rau will miss the tournament as they continue to compete in the World Junior Championship event in Canada.