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NFL notebook: Vikings' Cassel to start at QB vs. Steelers

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 2:06 p.m.
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Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel practices Friday, Sept. 26, 2013, at the Grove Hotel in London. Cassel will start against the Steelers on Sunday.

Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Vikings in place of injured Christian Ponder against the Steelers on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

Ponder sustained a fractured rib in last weekend's 31-27 loss to the Browns.

“We just felt like it was, from a medical standpoint, too risky to put him out there to take a hit,” coach Leslie Frazier said.

Cassel hasn't played a down since last season at Kansas City, where he threw for six touchdowns and 12 interceptions in nine games for the 2-14 Chiefs.

“I've been preparing for this, and I feel like I'm ready to go,” Cassel said. “I feel comfortable with this offense. I'm excited about it. That's what you prepare for as a backup.”

• A cousin, an associate and the fiancee ofAaron Hernandez became the latest charged in the former Patriot's murder case. The indictments double the number of individuals who face murder-related charges in connection with Odin Lloyd's shooting, though Hernandez is the only person charged with murder.

• The Colts will be without running back Ahmad Bradshaw on Sunday at Jacksonville. Bradshaw missed practice all week with a neck injury, meaning newly acquired Trent Richardson will inherit a heavier workload.

• Tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola stand only a slim chance of playing Sunday night at Atlanta, ESPN reported. Gronkowski's forearm is holding him back, and he likely needs another week of practice to be ready for game action.

• Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (Jeannette) was medically cleared to play Sunday against the Redskins, but his status remains uncertain.

• Cowboys receiver Miles Austin was ruled out of Sunday's game at San Diego because of a hamstring injury.

• Browns starting linebacker Jabaal Sheard, a Pitt product, is doubtful for Sunday's game against Cincinnati, which could give rookie Barkevious Mingo his first NFL start.

• Jets running backChris Ivory and rookie cornerbackDee Milliner will not play at Tennessee on Sunday because of injured hamstrings.

• The NFL fined Panthers quarterbackCam Newton $10,000 for wearing clips on his helmet visor featuring the Under Armour logo.

— Wire reports

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