Four rookies saw action for the Vikings in Sunday night's loss to the Bears. Here's how they performed.
QB Christian Ponder — The rookie looked solid in his first regular-season action, completing 9-of-17 for 99 yards. The offensive line did him no favors, as he was forced to escape pressure almost immediately on most plays. Last week, though, is just the start. Reports have it that Ponder will permanently take over as the starter, which is probably the right move, given the state of the team right now. The focus now appears to be on the 2012 season and preparing Ponder for the future.
TE Kyle Rudolph — Rudolph made a nice grab for an 18-yard gain, going over the top of the defense and making the catch at its high point. Other than that, though, he was invisible, making just two catches for 20 yards on three targets. Since the Chiefs game, he hasn't been a big part of the offense.
DL Christian Ballard — He played along the defensive line and recorded one tackle and a quarterback pressure. He has been a part of the defensive line rotation all season.
LB Larry Dean — Dean had mostly contributed as a special-teams player this season but saw some action at linebacker late in the game, recording one tackle.