The Minnesota Vikings decided to make one more move on roster cut weekend when they released Troy Kropog, a backup tackle, to make room for J’Marcus Webb, the ex-Chicago Bear. Webb was claimed on waivers by the Vikings on Sunday and will get more playing time than Kropog would have because of the experience Webb has gained as a starter for the Bears the past three seasons.
That’s why he was one of the most surprising cuts in the NFL on Saturday. Webb has started 44 games over the past three seasons, and at just 25 years old he should be a serviceable backup to Phil Loadholt and Matt Kalil. Webb has played both right and left tackle meaning he could play both positions in a single game which will help not only protect Christian Ponder but help Adrian Peterson on his quest to 2,500 rushing yards.
The Vikings only sit three deep at offensive tackle which makes Webb even more important, and with a rookie as the lone backup guard Webb could also see his playing time extend inside the line. The state of the offensive line has a major effect to the overall success of the team because of how heavily Peterson is leaned on to carry the offense.
Webb was a seventh-round pick back in 2010 and has worked hard in his short time in the league to become a starting caliber tackle. Obviously he has lost his title as a starter, but at just 25 years old he has the time to earn his way back to being a starter and he will have that chance with the Vikings.
Loadholt is a former second-round pick of the Vikings, but over the recent years he has shown inconsistent play. Although he’s not in jeopardy of losing his job, he could surrender some playing time to Webb early on. Kalil, on the other hand, has proven to be worth the first-round pick the Vikings used on him and will only see time on the bench when Webb is brought in to give him a breather.