If Dom Capers has a scouting report on Joe Webb, he had to dust it off at the last minute.
The Minnesota Vikings will be without starting quarterback Christian Ponder for Saturday night’s NFC wild-card game at Lambeau Field against the Vikings. Ponder, who was limited mostly to mental work at practice this week, tested his sore right (throwing) elbow during pregame. After watching Ponder throw, the Vikings made the determination to make Ponder one of their seven inactive players. In his place, Minnesota will start Webb.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN Stats and Information, Webb will be the first quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game without attempting a pass during the regular season.
Webb, a sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Alabama-Birmingham, started two games in place of an injured Brett Favre in 2010 and also got significant action in a pair of games in 2011. He’s thrown passes in 10 games, completing 88-of-152 (57.9 percent) for 853 yards, with three touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 66.6. He’s a major running threat, with 41 carries for 273 yards (6.6 average). He rushed for 109 yards at Detroit last season, with his 65-yard touchdown being the sixth-longest touchdown run by a quarterback in NFL history.
This season, he’s played in only one game and did not register any statistics.
Ponder, Minnesota’s first-round pick, doesn’t have gaudy statistics, though he did convert six third-down plays through the air as Minnesota earned a playoff berth with a 37-34 win over Green Bay last week. His 120.2 passer rating in that game was the best of his brief career, and he matched a career high with three touchdowns. He was injured when hit by blitzing safety Morgan Burnett during last week’s game.
For the Packers, their inactives are receivers Jarrett Boykin and Donald Driver, running back James Starks, cornerback Davon House, linebacker Frank Zombo, defensive tackle Jordan Miller and defensive end Jerel Worthy.
For the 37-year-old, this potentially will be Driver’s last appearance on the Lambeau Field playing surface. The 14-year-pro is the Packers’ career leader in receptions and yards but has only eight catches for 77 yards and two scores this season.
The Vikings’ other inactives are receiver Stephen Burton, guard Troy Kropog, cornerback Brandon Burton, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie and defensive ends D’Aundre Reed and George Johnson.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.