The Lions Now Have 2 Former Vikings QBs

Dec 20, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; View of a Detroit Lions helmet on the bench before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Detroit Lions will enter the 2023 season in one week with two former Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks on their payroll and one that some Vikings fans wanted the team to draft four months ago.

A depth quarterback for Minnesota in 2022, David Blough will return to Detroit this season, albeit on the practice squad.

The Lions Now Have 2 Former Vikings QBs

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweeted Thursday, “Reunion: The Lions are signing QB David Blough to their practice squad, per source.”

The Lions Now Have 2 Former Vikings QBs
Jan 1, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback David Blough (17) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

And that transaction brings Detroit’s QB total to four with these men attached to the roster:

QB1: Jared Goff
QB2: Teddy Bridgewater
QB3 David Blough
QB4: Hendon Hooker (NFI List)

Dec 10, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts in the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota selected Bridgewater in Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft as the then-long-term plan for Minnesota’s quarterback of the future. Bridgewater took over during his rookie season and immediately looked the part. One season later, combined with Mike Zimmer’s blossoming defense, Minnesota won the NFC North in 2015, and life was good.

But the summer of 2016 was a wildly different story. Bridgewater suffered a horrible knee injury right before the start of the regular season, then-GM Rick Spielman traded a 1st-Round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford, and Bridgewater’s career was forever altered.

Dec 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) runs with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Since leaving the Vikings after the freak injury in 2016-2017, teams led by Bridgewater are 16-21 (.432). Scaled to a 17-game season, Bridgewater has tossed 20 touchdown passes to 11 interceptions per year. In the past, those numbers would’ve been appealing — like 20 years ago — but teams have learned that Bridgewater is best suited for QB2. That’s why he’ll back up Goff in 2023.

Blough, on the other hand, was a short-timer in purple. He was a member of the Vikings for about three months, relegated to practice squad duty after Kirk Cousins and Nick Mullens grabbed the QB1 and QB2 jobs, respectively. Blough never took a snap for the Vikings and joined the Cardinals last December.

The 28-year-old entered the Vikings realm late last summer after the team said sayonara to the underwhelming combination of Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond. Minnesota released both players amid 2022 roster trimdowns, traded for Nick Mullens, and onboarded Blough as the QB3 contingency.

Former Viking Can Reach Hero Status in Minnesota
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings quarterback David Blough (12) throws the ball during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Purdue alumnus lived on the Vikings practice until late in the 2022 season when the Cardinals swooped in for the pilfer. An undrafted free agent in 2019, Blough started his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns. He was employed by Cleveland for a few months before a trade to the Lions in August of 2019. He spent time as QB2 and QB3 behind Matthew Stafford, intermixed with fellow backups Jeff Driskel and Chase Daniel.

Blough made five starts as a rookie in the aforementioned 2019 Lions campaign when Stafford was injured, compiling 984 passing yards, four touchdown passes, six interceptions, and a 64.0 passer rating. The Lions were 0-5 under Blough’s leadership as a starter, and he has started two games since both losing efforts with the Cardinals in 2022. He also started a game against Minnesota on December 8th, 2019, tabulating 205 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. He was sacked by Danielle Hunter three times that afternoon.

Presumably with Jared Goff at QB1, the Vikings play the Lions in Week 16 and Week 18 this season.

The Lions are Vegas favorites to win the NFC North. If so, it would be Detroit’s first division crown in three decades.

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