Ponder's case has become an interesting one with two strong performances this preseason despite only spending three weeks with the team. Blaine Gabbert is projected to be the team's starter and Colin Kaepernick had his first strong showing of the preseason Thursday, so Ponder isn't close to a lock to make the 53-man roster. That being said, he has looked strong in Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense and it wouldn't be surprising to see him back up Gabbert if the 49ers opt to part ways with the polarizing Kaepernick.
Ponder was brought in to provide quarterback depth while Colin Kaepernick was sidelined. He opened eyes with a strong preseason debut against the Broncos on Sept. 20, but regressed with a lackluster showing last week against the Packers. The fact that Ponder wasn't cut this week indicates that there is an outside chance that he could make the team as a backup if San Francisco opts to part ways with Kaepernick, who didn't impress in his preseason debut Friday.
Ponder completed 7-of-8 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos on Saturday. He also added 21 yards and another touchdown on two carries.
Ponder shined in his debut with the 49ers despite joining the team just four days prior. He was brought on to serve as a placeholder until Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) returns, but his stellar production -- albeit against backup defenders -- has to immediately put him in the conversation to possibly make the team as a third-stringer. It looks like Kaepernick could return this Friday against the Packers, so it will be interesting to see how the 49ers use Ponder and rookie backup Jeff Driskel in that game.
With Thaddeus Lewis (torn ACL) on injured reserve and Colin Kaepernick (shoulder) still not throwing, the 49ers need a third healthy quarterback for their upcoming joint-squad practices with the Broncos. If Kaepernick isn't available for Saturday's preseason game, Ponder may get thrown into the fire just four days after joining the team. Regardless, Ponder probably won't stick around beyond the preseason.
Christian Ponder was released by the Denver Broncos on Tuesday, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post reports.
With Peyton Manning (foot) set to miss another week, the Broncos are apparently content to have Trevor Siemian serve as the lone backup to Brock Osweiler. Ponder will likely be near the top of many teams' emergency quarterback lists.
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|6||10/16/16||@ BUF||1:00 pm|
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