Donovan McNabb benched in favor of Christian Ponder

The Minnesota Vikings have benched former Redskins’ quarterback Donovan McNabb six games into the season, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora.


Donovan McNabb (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said after the game that he hadn’t yet decided whether the change would be permanent, but two days later, the coach has decided to go with the Florida State product, whom Minnesota drafted 12th overall in April.

On the eve of training camp, the Redskins traded McNabb to the Vikings for a sixth-round pick and a second conditional sixth-rounder, just more than a year after they gave up second- and fourth-round picks to acquire him from the Philadelphia Eagles.

When he introduced McNabb as Washington’s new quarterback in 2010, Redskins’ Coach Mike Shanahan compared him to John Elway. Many believed the six-time Pro Bowl passer would lead the Redskins to the playoffs as the Shanahan era got underway.

But McNabb was benched with two minutes left in the Redskins’ Week 8 loss to Detroit, signed to a contract extension two weeks later, then benched again for the final three weeks of the season.

McNabb was due to earn $14.75 million from Washington this season – including a $10 million roster bonus on Sept. 12 – but the Redskins managed to trade him to Minnesota, which had interest in him in 2010.

McNabb’s struggles continued despite his new surroundings. He completed 94 of 154 passes for 1,026 yards – eighth fewest in the league -- with four touchdowns, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 82.9.

Rex Grossman, who replaced McNabb last season, and was named the Redskins’ starter this season, also has struggled, however. He has thrown for 1,132 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 55.8 percent of his passes. On Sunday, he was benched after throwing four interceptions.

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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