Vikings keep Webb as No. 5 WR, Sherels as CB, PR

Joe Webb’s athleticism was too much to part with for the

Minnesota Vikings.

After converting Webb to wide receiver this spring, following a

failed emergency playoff start at quarterback when Christian Ponder

was out with an injury, the Vikings kept the versatile former

sixth-round draft pick for special teams value and depth at an

important position.

Webb, in the fourth and final year of his contract, was one of

five wide receivers on the 53-man regular-season roster revealed

Saturday after the cut deadline.

The Vikings waived 19 players, including wide receivers Stephen

Burton, Rodney Smith and former Minnesota State University star

Adam Thielen.

Burton, a seventh-round draft pick in 2011, had a strong

training camp, but Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle

Patterson and Jarius Wright were assured spots.

Marcus Sherels was included as the fifth cornerback, meaning

he’ll be the punt returner again this year.

Brandon Burton and Bobby Felder were waived at that position,

leaving Chris Cook, Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes, A.J. Jefferson

and Sherels to defend the vaunted passing attacks in the NFC North

and around the league. The Vikings also kept five safeties, waiving

Brandan Bishop and Darius Eubanks.

Guard Seth Olson was placed on injured reserve after suffering a

concussion in the final preseason game Thursday. Fullback Jerome

Felton (three games, substance abuse policy violation) and tackle

DeMarcus Love (four games, performance enhancing substance policy

violation) don’t count against the limit while serving suspensions

by the NFL.

Wide receiver Greg Childs, still recovering from a patellar

tendon tear in each knee more than a year ago, is on the physically

unable to perform list. Defensive tackle Christian Ballard is on

the reserve list, having left the team for unspecified personal

reasons.

Also waived: tight ends Colin Anderson and Chase Ford; running

back Joe Banyard; offensive linemen Travis Bond, Brandon Keith and

Kevin Murphy; defensive tackles Everett Dawkins, Anthony McCloud

and Spencer Nealy; defensive ends D’Aundre Reed and Collins Ukwu;

and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie.

Bond and Dawkins, seventh-rounders from North Carolina and

Florida State respectively, were the only members of this year’s

draft picks to be let go. Reed was a seventh-round selection in

2011. McKenzie led the team in 2012 with 20 special teams

tackles.

The Vikings kept eight linebackers and nine defensive

linemen.

On the other side, they retained eight offensive linemen, three

tight ends, three quarterbacks and four running backs. With Felton

out until Sept. 23, undrafted free agent Zach Line made the team as

a fullback. Line, a standout at SMU, had three receptions for 74

yards and two touchdowns and rushed four times for 18 yards in four

preseason games this month.

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Dave Campbell on Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP