Weatherford Out; Ponder Looks to Step up

Following Wednesday's scrimmage, news broke that Drew Weatherford will likely miss the rest of spring practice due to torn meniscus in his right knee. With Weatherford out, Christian Ponder is looking to make the best of his opportunity.

During Saturday's scrimmage, Drew Weather injured his knee during goal line offensive drills. "I ran in for a touchdown on a naked (bootleg) and when I cut back I got tangled up with Dekoda Watson." Weatherford said.

With the injury coming during spring practice, and with two younger quarterbacks who could use more practice, Weatherford doesn't think he will rush himself back. "I want to be out here as much as anybody does and just get better but nothing is going to happen but I'll hurt myself if I get out there and damage it more than it already is."

Although Weatherford says his injury isn't very severe, he will still have to go under the knife before he will be healthy again. "Ultimately I'm going to have to have surgery" Weatherford said, "We're probably gonna make the decision by the end of the week whether I'm going to be able to come back or not, and right now it doesn't look like I'm going to be able to so I'm probably going to have surgery as soon as possible. Probably at the end of this week or first thing next week."

Weatherford learned that the swelling in his right knee was caused by a lateral meniscus tear, which requires about a month of rehabilitation. "I had one (torn meniscus in his same knee) in high school, so I know the process."

Drew will undergo a MRI on Monday and plans on playing it by ear from there. For now however, it looks like he will be sitting out the rest of spring practice and plans on letting the younger quarterbacks gain some much needed experience.

With Weatherford out during Wednesday's scrimmage, Christian Ponder took every rep with the first team offense and feels that he benefited greatly from it. "I've been going with the twos a lot and now every rep I play is with the ones so that helps a lot with my confidence and everything" said Ponder, "it's a little different going with the ones compared to everyone else. I mean those guys (o-line) are a little bigger and they can block a little better."

Throughout the remainder of the spring, Ponder will continue to look to improve and take advantage of every opportunity. "I'm just going to try to make the best of the situation. I'll be working with the ones so I want to make sure I get better and more familiar with all of them. This is just nothing but good things for me" Ponder said, "I feel like I belong with the ones now too. I am beginning to trust myself with my read and I can only get better."

While the injury is extremely unfortunate for Drew, Ponder knows this is the best chance he will have if he truly wants to push for the starting job when fall comes around. The next month will be extremely important for Ponder to determine his own fate. "I've been put in a place where I have the ability to start, and that is all that I am focused on right now."

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