Christian Ponder's arm looks pretty nasty [PHOTO]

Not your run-of-the-mill bruise.
Not your run-of-the-mill bruise.
Shari Gross on Twitter

When Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder surprisingly sat out Saturday's game with a mysterious arm injury, it was inevitable that Purple observers would question his toughness.

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After all, Ponder, who got hurt when his throwing arm banged into a Green Bay player during the first half of the last regular season game at the Metrodome, played effectively while closing out that victory. With the season on the line on Saturday, the thinking was that Christian would surely suck it up and play. After all, isn't that what the Ol' Gunslinger would do?

Well, Ponder didn't play, and by now we all now how well the Joe Webb experiment turned out. But a photo taken by the Star Tribune's Shari Gross (visible above) suggests Ponder wasn't lying when he told 1500 ESPN on Saturday night he wasn't capable of doing anything more than lobbing the football.

Ponder's nasty bruise brings back memories of how Brett Favre's ankle looked after the Vikings last playoff loss -- the controversial and heartbreaking 2009 season NFC Championship Game in New Orleans.

The visual evidence is prompting some fans -- such as Brian Riesgraf, the photographer who brought us one of the most memorable images of the 2012 Vikings season -- to take back their criticism of Christian's toughness.

Today, Ponder said his range of motion is already noticeably better than it was Sunday. He's expected to make a full recovery without needing surgery.

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