The Vikings Mind-Boggling QB Shift

Reaffirms Vikings QB Plan
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

In 1978, Earth, Wind, and Fire sang to the world, “Do you remember … the 21st night of September?”

In 2023, that was an ordinary old Thursday night for the Minnesota Vikings, but the team’s quarterback room was totally different.

The Vikings Mind-Boggling QB Shift

As recently as September, the Vikings employed these men at quarterback in order of depth chart positioning:

  • Kirk Cousins
  • Nick Mullens
  • Jaren Hall

Fast forward to early November, and the Vikings will likely ride into Week 10 versus the New Orleans Saints with these men at quarterback:

  • Josh Dobbs
  • Sean Mannion
  • Tanner Morgan
Boggling QB
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

That’s right — in a span of about five weeks, the Vikings quarterback room mind-bogglingly changed, and it might’ve happened somewhat subtly that fans didn’t notice on the surface. Cousins + Mullens + Hall formed the QB depth chart heading into Week 4 at the Carolina Panthers, and by Week 10, Minnesota will probably showcase Dobbs + Mannion + Morgan.

The NFL is a topsy-turvy business.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Dobbs arrived on the roster via spooky-season trade, acquired on Halloween, along with a 7th-Round draft pick, in exchange for a 6th-Rounder to the Arizona Cardinals. Five days later, with limited knowledge of the playbook and his teammates’ names, Dobbs was asked to win a Vikings road game, which he did at Atlanta last Sunday.

Dobbs said about his limited preparation before his Vikings debut last weekend, ‘It’s like if you were taking Spanish all year and you showed up and Wednesday somebody told you — you’re taking AP Spanish — and somebody told you you’ve got an AP French exam on Sunday. Someone’s going to talk to you in Spanish and translate it to the French, so that’s kind of what was going on out there.”

Feel for Jaren
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports.

For Dobbs to get on the field, something would have to happen to new starter Jaren Hall, and that occurred as Hall was concussed near the goal line early in the Falcons showdown. Hall is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol and is unlikely to be available this weekend.

Before that, original QB2 Nick Mullens injured his back in October and has stayed on injured reserve for four weeks. Mullens could be ready soon but will likely undertake QB2 or QB3 duties.

Mannion joined the roster, albeit the practice squad, on October 11th following Mullens’ IR diagnosis. And to fortify depth — merely needing human bodies to throw the ball — the Vikings signed former Minnesota Golden Gopher Tanner Morgan to the depth chart this week.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports.

And that was all on top of Justin Jefferson, Marcus Davenport, and Cam Akers experiencing the IR treatment.

In a nutshell, the Vikings were 1-4 nearly five weeks ago, started losing all their quarterbacks and Jefferson — and haven’t lost a game since.

Just like everyone drew it up.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by