Found December 12, 2011 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Joe Webb set a Minnesota Vikings' single-game record on Sunday, but it was the type of mark that he might never be able to replicate. With seven carries for 109 rushing yards, Webb set a team record for single-game rushing by a quarterback. He displayed the type of athletic ability that Minnesota could use more of on offense. Yet as a backup quarterback, Webb won't often get those chances. He's been tried at quarterback and wide receiver since the Vikings selected him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft and the team is still trying to figure out the best way to use Webb's abilities. "He is a guy who can create plays when there's nothing there," Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said. "And we have to do more as far as getting him out there and trying to put him in position to make some plays, especially when Adrian (Peterson) is not playing and you're relying so much on Percy (Harvin). We need all our playmakers on the field that we can get and he is for sure one of our playmakers, so it's something we have to continue to explore. "We have some packages that we use sporadically. Maybe we have to go a little bit deeper with those packages." Webb also was 12 for 23 passing for 84 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 34-28 loss at Detroit. He led two scoring drives and had the 2-11 Vikings in position to potentially pull off the upset after driving the team to the one-yard line with a first down and nine seconds left. On the final play, Webb's first passing option was covered, he tried to bring the ball down and fumbled while his facemask was being held. The ball was batted around and recovered by the Lions as time ran out for Minnesota's sixth turnover of the game. But Webb's performance in relief of benched starter Christian Ponder was just another example of why the Vikings hope to get more out of Webb in the future. "He created a spark for our team, really gave us a boost, protected the football and put together some nice drives," Frazier said. "That last drive is a championship caliber drive. Playing against a team that is vying for a playoff spot, for him to take us down and get us to the one-yard line and in position to win the game, that's a big deal and you don't take that lightly. That's what we need." The question becomes, where does Webb belong? As the 12th overall pick in this past draft, Ponder is considered the quarterback of the future. Frazier would like to see more of Webb in other roles in the offense, but is aware of the risk. Frazier said it's tough to expose the team's backup quarterback too much because of possible injury. "It does make a difference if you're going to utilize him in certain packages, you put him at risk," Frazier said. "But he's such a playmaker and we need playmakers. It's going to be hard to not to try and utilize him." Winfield discusses his recovery: Cornerback Antoine Winfield was in the locker room and spoke to reporters for the first time since surgery to repair a broken clavicle. Winfield missed four games with a neck injury only to suffer a broken clavicle in his first game back against the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 14. Winfield said he had surgery about four weeks ago. "It was a routine play," Winfield said. "I was trying to knock (Jermichael) Finley out of bounds. Hit the ground, came down on it kind of hard and felt something. Went to the sideline, (trainer Eric Sugarman) pushed on it and he knew it was done. Went in and got an X-ray, looked at the doctor; once he looked at the picture, I could tell. He looked. He's like, Ooh.' It showed a crack and I was done." Winfield said he will be able to resume lifting weights and regaining his strength in about two weeks. He's stayed in Minnesota while he recuperates and tries to stay in shape. "I'd say my timeline for full strength would probably be April," Winfield said. "I can move. I've got all my movement back. It's all about getting my strength, and I'll have that back in about two more months." Griffin not in Frazier's "dog house": Cornerback Cedric Griffin's play has added to the secondary woes. Griffin was benched Sunday for the remainder of the game after letting Titus Young run freely up the sideline for an eventual 57-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. Griffin reportedly didn't react well to the benching, telling the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the game: "It was a team decision, so I'm going to make my decision what I got to do after the season, and they're going to make their decision." Griffin is still under contract for two more seasons. Frazier said he hadn't talked with Griffin after his postgame comments, but indicated he doesn't have any issues with the six-year veteran who's trying to return from knee surgeries in back-to-back seasons. "Cedric's not in my doghouse," Frazier said. "He's a guy who has worked extremely hard for us and battled back from some tough injuries. He's had some moments that are a little bit difficult. But I haven't given up on him and I hope that he hasn't given up on himself. We'll revisit things this week as we prepare for our next opponent and just see where he fits at that point. He's not in my doghouse at all." Arceneaux replaces Burton: Rookie receiver Stephen Burton suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee on Sunday and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Monday. Receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux was signed from the practice squad to the active roster. Frazier said Burton isn't scheduled to have surgery, but wouldn't return in time to play again this season. Arceneaux was signed out of the Canadian Football League during the offseason and has spent the entire season on the practice squad.
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