With all of the Collective Bargaining Agreement news this offseason, it was easy to forget a few of the rules changes that took place in the NFL. And with the arrival of two new QBs (Donovan McNabb and Christian Ponder) in Minnesota, it was easy to forget about Joe Webb.
But these two issues are going to be important for the Vikings and Vikings fans this season.
Under old rules, NFL teams were allowed to have 45 players on their active game day roster. A 46th player was designated as the emergency or 3rd QB. If the emergency QB entered the game before the 4th quarter, then the other two QBs were disqualified.
Under the new rules, NFL teams are allowed to have 46 players on their active game day roster. In addition, the emergency QB rule is abolished, which means a team’s 3rd string QB can enter the game at any point without disqualifying the other two QBs.
This could be a big deal for the Vikings and perhaps for Webb. With McNabb now in the fold, the plan is for him to start and it’s possible that Ponder will perform well enough in training camp and the preseason to win the backup job. In this scenario, Webb would be the 3rd string QB. Under the old rules, Webb likely wouldn’t enter the game until the 4th quarter. But now, the Vikings offensive coaching staff can be creative in how they deploy Webb. He can line up at QB or WR, he can return kicks and he can run a Wildcat-type of package.
All of this is presuming quite a few things, from McNabb being named the starter and staying healthy to Ponder playing well enough to win the backup job. Remember, Webb enters training camp with a leg up on Ponder because of experience.
No matter how you slice it, though, the new QB rule is significant for the Vikings. And for the Vikings ability to get Webb and his athletic ability out on the field as often as possible.
Tags: Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb, Joe Webb
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