Christian Ponder hit the practice field for the first time this week Thursday. Whether that translates into hitting the playing field for Florida State Saturday remains up in the air.
Ponder missed the first three practices ahead of the game with Clemson this weekend after having fluid drained from his right (throwing) elbow. Jimbo Fisher would not commit to the quarterback starting against the Tigers, but did sound more optimistic regarding Ponder’s availability than he has the past four days.
“He did some,” said Fisher in comments distributed by the team. “I didn’t want to take a chance, so we limited what he did. What we’re doing right now, he feels very good about. He took some reps and did some things but we limited what he did as far as numbers. I didn’t want the day after to be a bear. I think he’ll feel good. I really do. …
“We’ll have to see how [Friday] goes. But I expect him to be even better. There’s hardly [any fluid] in there now. The rest has helped a lot. That’s as good as anything with any injury. You watch it in the NFL. If you really evaluate the quarterbacks, they probably practice like once-a-week once they start getting banged and bruised. They’re already in a rhythm this late in the year with what they’re doing, throwing and reading.”
Officially, Ponder is listed as questionable on the Seminoles’ injury report. EJ Manuel would get the start if Ponder is unavailable, with redshirt freshman Will Secord backing him up.