Every Single Option for Vikings at QB after Cousins Injury

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The Minnesota Vikings won at Lambeau Field over the Green Bay Packers in Week 8, but the cost was tremendous.

Kirk Cousins was injured after the Vikings were in the driver’s seat, and the club fears that the 35-year-old tore his Achilles’ tendon, which would end his season and spell mystery for the rest of Cousins’ career in Minnesota.

Every Single Option for Vikings at QB after Cousins Injury

The Vikings season, before the Cousins injury, was completely rejuvenated, now winners of three consecutive games after a 1-4 start. If the playoffs started tomorrow, Minnesota would participate and play a road game at the Seattle Seahawks.

So, if Minnesota’s front office wants to keep the season afloat and not merely accept Cousins-less doom, these are the options at quarterback, ranked in order of likelihood (No. 1 = most likely option).

5. Sean Mannion

Single Option for Vikings
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The least sexy option — that nobody anywhere wants to see — Mannion is a veteran who won’t need much time to learn the offense. The problem? He’s had auditions as a Vikings starter in the preseason and regular season and played terribly every time.

Mannion lives on the practice squad and will likely be called up to the active roster, no matter what. There’s a scenario where he ends up as the Vikings starter, but like all Mannion-led games, the offense would be slow and underwhelming.

4. A Free Agent

Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz (11) walks along the sideline Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. © Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Candidates:

  • Tom Brady
  • Joe Flacco
  • Nick Foles
  • Colt McCoy
  • Cam Newton
  • Philip Rivers
  • Matt Ryan
  • Carson Wentz

Brady is obviously the most tantalizing name, 46 years old and eight games retired from the sport. The GOAT has connections to Brian Flores, the Vikings defensive coordinator, and Kevin O’Connell, the head coach, from the New England days.

Colt McCoy is the most probable option, as the veteran worked out for the Vikings a few weeks ago. He and O’Connell worked together in Washington.

The rest of the names are longshots, with some added curiosity about Foles as a potential Super-Bowl-for-hire candidate based on his 2017 magic.

3. A Trade

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Conveniently, the NFL’s trade deadline is less than 48 hours away, and if the Vikings are sour on the current QB1 options existing on the roster, well, they could trade for a new one.

Some have suggested that Minnesota could pursue Kyler Murray or Matthew Stafford, but Murray’s contact is mammoth, and Stafford’s Rams probably aren’t ready to quit on 2023.

These are the Vikings realistic trade options, with all men gettable for mid- or late-round draft capital:

  • Jacoby Brissett (WAS)
  • Trey Lance (DAL)
  • Drew Lock (SEA)
  • Case Keenum (HOU)
  • Davis Mills (HOU)
  • Cooper Rush (DAL)
  • Mike White (MIA)
  • Bailey Zappe (NEW)

2. Nick Mullens

Line QB for 2023
Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Mullens is not eligible to return until Week 10 — the same week Justin Jefferson can return — and before too long, he may be the Vikings QB1. He averaged 248 passing yards per game as a member of the San Francisco 49ers from 2018 to 2020, and the Vikings traded for him a little over a year ago for precisely this reason — to back up Cousins.

Mullens’ only “problem” is next week. If Jaren Hall looks dazzling versus the Atlanta Falcons, why on earth would the Vikings say no thanks to the young, mobile quarterback?

Given the opportunity, Mullens can fling the ball all over the place; he’s started a full season’s worth of games in the NFL.

1. Jaren Hall

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

You wanted a look at Hall this season when the Vikings seemed to teeter on the brink of irrelevance? You’re about to get it.

Minnesota drafted Hall in April with 5th-Round draft capital, and most passers from that late in a draft don’t amount to much. Folks always remember Tom Brady and Brock Purdy, but most late-round QBs never pan out as starters.

For Hall, however, this is his gift-wrapped opportunity to prove he’s the exception to the rule. In all likelihood, he’ll get the start next Sunday, and if he looks decent, Hall will be on deck to fill QB1 duties for the rest of 2023.

If he stinks, Vikings fans will probably experience a back-and-forth between him and Mullens and maybe even Mannion.


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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