The Vikings were finalizing Freeman's contract Monday. He didn't make it in time for practice but was scheduled to arrive later in the day. Coach Leslie Frazier said there's not enough time for Freeman to learn the offense and play this weekend at Carolina, but the Vikings didn't sign him just for depth. They're trying to save the season after losing their first three games.
Frazier said Ponder is still the starter if he's healthy, but he's recovering from a broken rib that kept him out of the win over Pittsburgh Sept. 29. Cassel played that game and will keep the job if Ponder isn't cleared for action.