Newcomer Vikings QB Lasted 5 Days

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans reacts during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have a 1-4 record, the team’s best player (Justin Jefferson) hit injured reserve on Tuesday, the QB2 (Nick Mullens) could soon follow suit, and NFL media has tossed QB1 Kirk Cousins in the trade rumor mill.

Newcomer Vikings QB Lasted 5 Days

In the middle of those events, the Vikings cut ties with recently added quarterback Tanner Morgan after just five days with the club.

Morgan, 24, will now return to the free-agent pool and hope for another practice squad audition. The Vikings signed Morgan last week as QB2 Nick Mullens’ injury status was (as remains) up in the air.

Newcomer Vikings QB
Nov 20, 2021; Bloomington, Indiana, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports.

At the University of Minnesota from 2018 to 2022, Morgan accounted for 9,469 passing yards in 51 games, with 65 passing touchdowns and 32 interceptions. He finished his collegiate career with a 62.2% completion rate and 8 rushing touchdowns.

Then, the 2023 draft cycle arrived, and Morgan found no new team during the three-day event. However, the USFL’s Michigan Panthers scooped the young quarterback, but Morgan declined the invitation. He later joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent for summer roster auditions but was waived on August 28th, hitting free agency for six weeks.

Sep 10, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) scans the field for a receiver in the third quarter against Western Illinois Leathernecks at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports.

The Steelers opted to roll with a QB trio of Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph and are 3-2 through four weeks of 2023 accordingly. Morgan saw limited action in Pittsburgh’s first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, diming 5 completions on 8 attempts for no touchdowns and an interception. He briefly appeared in the following preseason contest, too.

Departing the University of Minnesota, Morgan was perceived as a career-long backup-style quarterback, an accurate forecast through a few months of NFL experience. He doesn’t possess elite traits as a pro quarterback but instead does everything somewhat well, just not at a starter’s level.

Nov 5, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) looks to pass during the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports.

The aforementioned Mullens popped up on last week’s injury report with a minor back injury, causing him to miss Sunday’s loss versus the Kansas City Chiefs and prompting the five-day Morgan era.

The Vikings have no QBs on the practice squad at the moment. Many Vikings fans familiar with Morgan’s career at the University of Minnesota were generally unenthused by the move on social media and won’t bemoan his release.

Nov 13, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) warms up before the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings auditioned eight players on Tuesday, the same day as Morgan’s release, including 37-year-old quarterback Colt McCoy. If Minnesota wishes to remain competitive this season, adding McCoy would make more sense than Morgan on the active roster.

Minnesota travels to Chicago for a date with the Bears this Sunday.

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).

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