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

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 2:06 p.m.

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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