You Have to Feel for Jaren Hall
Heading into a game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings were forced into their first quarterback change in years. With Kirk Cousins unavailable due to a torn Achilles, it was set to be the Jaren Hall show. That lasted for all of five minutes.
You Have to Feel for Jaren Hall
Minnesota spent a fifth-round pick on Jaren Hall during the 2023 NFL Draft. Taken out of BYU after a pair of strong seasons in which he threw 51 touchdowns, Hall had the makings of an intriguing late-round flier. That designation meant he was set to sit behind a veteran and learn, even while he entered the NFL already being 25 years old.
When Kirk Cousins went down against the Green Bay Packers, those plans changed. Hall stepped into a soft landing against the Packers. Minnesota already had built a lead, and the former BYU standout completed five of six passes for 78 yards. It wasn’t his show, but he tasted the speed and experienced winning from the field level.
With a week to prepare as the starter, Hall worked with the first team as the Vikings turned their attention to the Falcons. Getting on the field early and going through practice reps, there is no denying that Hall was feeling the excitement of his first opportunity. Despite expectations that his first year in the NFL would be spent on the sidelines, he was getting a shot.
That shot lasted for just four passing attempts and a pair of rushes. As he looked to punch the ball into the end zone, a violent hit had him bouncing off the turf and heading to the medical tent. Within minutes, he was walking back to the locker room and had been ruled out with a concussion. Despite being in the building for only a matter of days, Josh Dobbs took over, and the rest is history.
With Dobbs now named the starter for Sunday’s home game against the New Orleans Saints as Hall works through the concussion protocol, it seems unlikely Hall will see the field again. The intention was never for him to get into game action this year, and Dobbs has substantially more experience at this level. Minnesota is still looking to capitalize on a season in which they can compete, and a veteran seems like a much more straightforward way to do so.
Should Dobbs struggle, or the results go awry, there is potential for Hall to work his way back into mop-up duty. Minnesota may have a desire to see where the long-term potential is, but plenty of that could be decided behind the scenes as well. For as exciting as last Sunday was for Hall, it has to be disheartening to see it all ripped away so quickly.
The NFL is certainly a difficult league to crack, and it’s even more challenging to develop staying power. This isn’t likely to be the last opportunity Hall has at the level, but there are no certainties in that either. Getting such a limited taste of the highest level of success should drive him to want it again, but if he wants to work through the feelings a bit, too, that would be more than understandable.
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Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.