Report: Vikings Could Make Switch at QB — Again

Gets the CNN
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From Kirk Cousins to Jaren Hall to Joshua Dobbs to Nick Mullens — perhaps back to Jaren Hall.

That’s the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback situation in 2023, ravaged by a season-ending injury to Kirk Cousins, flash-in-the-pan success from backups, and later ineptitude from the same reservist passers.

Report: Vikings Could Make Switch at QB — Again

In the last two games — squeaker losses at the Cincinnati Bengals and home against the Detroit Lions — veteran Nick Mullens took the reins, driving the ball downfield but displaying reckless abandon in crucial moments. And while little immediate quarterback controversy dribbled out of the loss to the Lions, at least per the head coach’s words (or lack thereof), Minnesota could indeed be contemplating a switch to Hall, who started in Week 9 at the Atlanta Falcons before a concussion ended his brief maiden voyage.

Could Make Switch
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Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote Tuesday morning, “Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Vikings are taking a long look at whether Mullens should be benched for rookie Jaren Hall.”

Vikings fans have called for Hall’s insertion into the lineup since The Joshua Dobbs Experience went pear-shaped, primarily for one reason. Most of the team’s loyalists realized the franchise wouldn’t win a Super Bowl without Kirk Cousins, so why not roll the dice with Hall’s rookie upside and have a little fun?

Feel for Jaren
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Florio added, “Mullens arguably has made too many mistakes to stay on the field. On his last interception of the game, receiver Justin Jefferson (who wasn’t double-covered, for a change) was open for what would have been a game-tying touchdown and potential go-ahead PAT. Mullens, put simply, made a bad throw in a big spot.”

The Vikings selected Hall in the 5th Round of the 2023 NFL Draft, a pick most fans viewed as a flyer on the quarterback of the future or materialization into a high-end QB2. Out of sheer necessity, Hall took the snaps when Cousins fell injured with a torn Achilles because Mullens was on injured reserve, Dobbs still played for the Arizona Cardinals, and Sean Mannion lived on the practice squad.

Chance to Be Bold
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Then, on a few plays at the Falcons, Hall looked competent, and fans fell in love. The infatuation felt a bit premature as Hall didn’t really do anything noteworthy in Atlanta, but he also didn’t look silly or unprepared for the moment. Ergo, fans wanted more of Hall when he recovered from a concussion, but he’s lived on the bench since, and Dobbs briefly convinced the masses he was the real deal.

Minnesota has a 27% chance of reaching the postseason after losing to the Lions and must win its next two games while hoping the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks lose a single game — just one — between them.

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Think of it this way: If the Rams or Seahawks, either team, lose a single game, the Vikings “control their own destiny” once again. Win two and in with a Rams loss or a Seahawks loss.

Mullens is basically guaranteed to throw one or two interceptions — probably more — in a game, so Minnesota might entrust Hall with the baton, hoping he’s not a gunslinging turnover faucet. It could be the Vikings’ only chance of slipping in the playoffs.

On Sunday afternoon, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert tweeted, “Before I escape U.S. Bank Stadium, I’ll leave you with what I have on the Vikings’ weird QB situation. Nick Mullens threw for 411 yards, 2 TDs and 4 INTs. From the top, I heard nothing to suggest that he won’t be the starter next week vs. Green Bay.”

And that sounded like the Vikings would not deviate from Mullens. Yet, the Florio intel is markedly different.

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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