Vikings' Joe Webb Is Now a Wide Receiver

Andy Lyons

The folks in purple who live up North have decided to move their backup quarterback to a different position this season.

Today we have some interesting news from one of the Green Bay Packers' division rivals. In January, Joe Webb was the starting quarterback for the Vikings in their Wild-Card playoff game at Lambeau Field. Just five months later, the team has announced that Webb is now a wide receiver.

How did it come to this? Well, NFL.com's Kevin Patra sums it up rather succinctly:

Webb's opportunity to prove he could be a legitimate quarterback came last season in an emergency duty against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. The start turned out disastrously.

I can't disagree. Webb showed some ability running the ball early on in the game, but was completely out of his element and insufficient throwing the ball, leading to GIFs like this and this. He did throw a frustrating 50-yard touchdown to Michael Jenkins in garbage time, but aside from that pass he went 10-for-29 for 130 yards and an interception.

Webb will now return to the position he played in college at Alabama-Birmingham, leading this writer to wonder why the Vikings ever tried putting him at quarterback in the first place. Behind Percy Harvin, the Vikings had minimal talent at wide receiver over the past few years and personally I think Webb would have been put to much better use as a depth wideout than a backup quarterback.

Now with Matt Cassel on board and presumably holding the second-string quarterback job, Webb has become expendable in the backfield. When he has the ball in space, his athleticism makes him an intriguing weapon; however, time will tell if he ends up playing a major role as a pass-catcher this season or beyond. At present, he likely would sit no higher than fifth on the receiver depth chart, likely behind Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson, and Jarius Wright.

At least Webb won't have to change his number from 14 to remain compliant with the NFL's numbering rules.

Check out The Daily Norseman, the SBNation blog for the Minnesota Vikings, for more on this move and on the Packers' division rival as a whole.

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