Surprise! Vikings Announce QB Mystery.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports. Aug 19, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) drops back to throw a pass during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s happening again.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was lost for the season at the end of October, and since then, the club has fired up a carousel that makes Phantasialand in Germany look tiny.

Surprise! Vikings Announce QB Mystery.

Fast forward to Week 17 — with the Vikings’ playoff hopes dangling like Sylvester Stallone in the 1993 film — and the quarterback carousel is back with utter mystery.

Long story short, the Vikings made the identity of Week 17’s quarterback a total riddle on Tuesday. It could be Nick Mullens. It could be Jaren Hall. Or it could be Joshua Dobbs. All options for Minnesota’s must-win game on New Year’s Eve versus the Green Bay Packers are on the table.

Announce QB
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic‘s Alec Lewis tweeted a couple of times about the topic, five days before Vikings-Packers, “Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell says the team is evaluating its plan at QB for this weekend’s game against the Packers. Mentioned the turnovers continuing to be an issue. Was not fully committal to Nick Mullens for this weekend. Said they wanted to evaluate last few weeks.”

He also reiterated, “Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell says the team is considering all three QB options (Nick Mullens, Josh Dobbs, and Jaren Hall) to start Sunday night against the Packers.”

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Rolling with Mullens would maintain continuity, as the Vikings have lost the last two games with him in charge, but the veteran has shown the ability to throw the ball downfield — yes, with six interceptions to his name. There’s always a flicker of hope that his turnovers would vanish. A longshot, to be sure.

The club could also return to Dobbs, who did not push the ball downfield in his last three starts (games against the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and Las Vegas Raiders). That’s apparently on the table. Dobbs has the mobility x-factor and some grit; he just struggled to find wide receivers downfield and throw outside the numbers.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Hall has served as the QB2 in the last two weeks. If Mullens had fallen injured against the Cincinnati Bengals or Detroit Lions, Hall would’ve trotted into the game. The rookie also started one game this season at the Atlanta Falcons, performing decent for about half an hour before succumbing to a concussion.

Generally speaking, Vikings fans want to see Hall this week because most know or assume the team won’t win a Super Bowl anyway, so why not have a look at the youngster? He mixes the Mullens and Dobbs skillsets, mobile, to an extent, like Dobbs, and is able to throw downfield like Mullens. Hall is the happy medium, although wildly unproven.

There is no odds-on favorite to earn the Week 17 gig. Perhaps Mullens has a slight edge because he can undoubtedly sling that ball all over the field. His turnovers, though — six in two games — were a death sentence.

Turnover Woes
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

O’Connell should announce a decision by Friday afternoon at the latest. Minnesota is favored to defeat Green Bay by two points regardless of who wins the QB1 job.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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