The Carolina Panthers face the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday in a last ditch effort to get the team back on track. If they win, they will have a winning record within the reach of two relatively easy games left in October. If they lose, they will be 1-4 and looking forward to the draft.

Here are a few notable story lines from the Minnesota press...

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According to the Star Tribune, the Vikings QB situation is a mess...

Christian Ponder said he has been medically cleared to play Sunday and that the Vikings coaching staff has informed him and the other quarterbacks who will start against Carolina.

Ponder deferred to coach Leslie Frazier to reveal that information, but it wasn’t difficult to discern that Matt Cassel will make his second start in a row with Ponder serving as his backup.


Throw the newly acquired Josh Freeman in the mix and you get a Minnesota Offense without a true starting QB and no offensive passing identity. It looks like Cassell will be starting on Sunday, with Freeman waiting in the wings.

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According to ESPN, the vikings kicker could be slightly injured...

He was doing some kickoffs, and just felt a little bit of a twinge, so we just shut him down," Frazier said. "I think he'll be fine, based on what Eric Sugarman, our trainer, said. We just want to be smart.


With as close as the Panthers play most teams, any news about the opponents kicker is notable. This game could very easily come down to a missed field goal.

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ESPN also says ...

Cornerback Josh Robinson, who has become a favorite target for both fans and opposing quarterbacks in the first four games of the season, will continue to start in the Vikings' base defense, Frazier said. Robinson has been targeted a league-high 38 times, according to Pro Football Focus, and the 35 receptions he's allowed are also the most in the league.


This is great news for Cam Newton who could use a confidence boost on Sunday after a poor performance against the Cardinals. This is also good news for the Panthers receivers, who need a game to vindicate their awful play last Sunday as well.