There were 3 WRs among the 8 inactive Vikings on Sunday and as a result rookie QB Joe Webb was on the active 45-man game-day roster.
The Vikings selected Webb in last April’s draft with the intention of converting the athletic QB to WR, but ultimately he returned to his natural position under center as the team’s #3 QB. But with 3 of the 8 inactive Vikings coming from the WR corps – Percy Harvin, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett – Webb found his way onto the field early against the Bills.
The Vikings received the opening kickoff and with regular return man Harvin on the sidelines, Webb was given the opportunity to take the kick back. And he did so by darting 30 yards straight ahead from the 5, setting up the Vikings offense at their own 35.
“I was trying to pop it out,” Webb described to reporters of his kick return after the victory. “I saw a little crease and I was just trying to hit it as hard as I can run down hill and run up with your feet. That was my first time running a kickoff return and now that I got a chance to see it and know how to read it, I’m sure the next one will be a lot different.”
Following his first ever kick return, Webb made an appearance at the WR position early in the 1st quarter – zero receptions and was not targeted – but was sidelined after playing on a punt return in which he tweaked his hamstring.
If not for the injury early in the game, would we have seen more of Webb integrated into the Vikings game plan?
“I don’t know if I’m letting any secrets out of the bag, but we had a package for him,” Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier told reporters during his post-game press conference. “It just obviously didn’t unfold. We had some things in store. The good thing for our football team, although we had some things in store, we had enough with the people that were playing to overcome the fact that we lost Joe.”
Is the cat out of the bag? The answer to that question will be answered next week against the NY Giants in the Vikings second game of a 3-game home stand. My guess is that if Frazier had a package “in store” specifically for Webb that we may be in store for a showing of the rookie’s athletic abilities in the weeks to come, if he stays healthy.
“Yeah,” Webb responded when asked if he was to see more time at receiver against the Bills. “I was going to get some time in too but right now my focus is just to get healthy and get back.”
Tags: Joe Webb, Leslie Frazier
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