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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Joe Webb survives cuts, makes team as a receiver

Joe Webb’s transition from quarterback to receiver took a giant leap on Saturday, when he made the Minnesota Vikings 53-man roster as their fifth receiver.

In May, Webb wasn’t entirely sure what position he would play. After starting at quarterback in the Vikings’ playoff loss at Green Bay in January to limited success, Webb knew the team was mulling over switching him back to receiver, so he began working on that position.

His efforts proved to be fruitful as the Vikings trusted him with the final roster spot over receiver Stephen Burton.

Burton appeared to be Webb’s only competitor as he shot off to a quick start this preseason. He followed up a 56-yard catch-and-run against the Houston Texans with a kickoff return for a touchdown at the Buffalo Bills, but the play was called back due to a penalty on now-cut linebacker Tyrone McKenzie.

But in the third preseason game at San Francisco, Burton made a group of mistakes that included a Christian Ponder interception, where Burton simply stopped running on a slant route defined by timing, along with a delay of game penalty on Ponder after Burton failed to motion when signaled.

During Thursday’s final preseason game, it was evident the Vikings wanted to give Webb a longer look after catching a goal line touchdown pass from Ponder against the 49ers. After all, Webb was trying something relatively new and Burton, while he has improved, has been spinning his wheels since drafted in the seventh round in 2011.

Webb caught five passes on seven targets for 38 yards on Thursday while Burton received just two targets for one reception.

Webb will lineup behind receivers Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson and Jarius Wright when the regular season opens on Sept. 8 at the Detroit Lions.

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