Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
Christian Ponder is injured. He'll try to play, but he might not last. Joe Webb starting is a very real possibility. Is he actually someone to be worried about?
For those who haven't seen it yet, Joe Webb might start for the Minnesota Vikings tonight. There have been grumblings that Christian Ponder's elbow has been bothering him all week, but I expected him to start. Vikings fans and media expected him to start. Then, this bomb dropped today.
Have been told it is "looking more likely" Joe Webb will start tonight. Still no final word. But Vikings much closer to Plan B.— Dan Wiederer (@StribDW) January 5, 2013
Albert Breer offered a bit of clarification. He said it didn't seem like Ponder's elbow had improved over the last three days, then passed this along.
... Ponder will get to Lambeau early and get treatment. Expectation has been he'll start, be monitored throughout. We'll see if that changes— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 5, 2013
So, Joe Webb. What to make of Joe Webb? He's athletic and doesn't have a history of throwing stupid interceptions in his limited regular season and preseason action. That alone makes him an okay option for a team with Adrian Peterson. A couple of reputable folks seem to think that Webb's a dangerous guy.
My 1 thought on Joe Webb possibly starting: Ponder is better clearly. But #Packers haven't scouted Webb. He's got skills. Could be dangerous— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 5, 2013
If Joe Webb starts the Vikings kept that quiet pretty well all week. Webb can surprise teams that didn't prepare heavy for him— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 5, 2013
In our initial post about Ponder's shaky status, a few commenters indicated that they'd rather see Ponder than Webb. This pro-Joe Webb party is awfully nice, but I'm wondering: Why? We've had plenty of fun at Christian Ponder's expense over the next two seasons, but the guy's a decent quarterback. He completed 62 percent of his passes last year, and -- shock! -- he averages 5.4 yards per rush for his career. He picked up 250 yards on the ground this year.
Is Webb a better athlete? Yes, of course, but his completion percentage is sub-par. His 6.7 yards per carry average is very good, but not mind-blowing, and he's had plenty of extended appearances in the regular season and preseason where he's done very little on the ground. He has more interceptions than touchdowns.
Webb can be a weapon, yes, but anyone who thinks he's better for the Vikings than Ponder is kidding themselves. The backup quarterback is always the most popular guy in town.