Vikings New QB Is Ready
No Minnesota Vikings quarterback has made a first-ever start for the club since 2014.
That man was Teddy Bridgewater, and he propelled the purple team to a win in his rookie season versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Vikings New QB Is Ready
Well, at least to some extent, history will repeat this weekend because rookie signal-caller Jaren Hall will make his first start this weekend — against those same Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. QB1 Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in Week 8 at Green Bay and will miss the season’s remainder.
Hall’s Vikings are a 4.5-point underdog at Atlanta, so sportsbooks evidently aren’t expecting much from the man during his maiden voyage. The Falcons will be led by former Vikings quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
Asked about his upcoming start and preparation, though, it sure sounds like Hall is ready. In particular, he spoke about not looking too far ahead of himself. “I think that it’s very easy to go down that path and start thinking about that, but lucky for me, coaches are constantly reminding me just to focus on this day, focus on walk-through, this practice, this install — whatever it is,” the 25-year-old told reporters on Wednesday.
Hall saw brief action against the Packers, completing a couple of passes and fumbling in the 4th Quarter.
He added, “It’s a long career in the NFL. It’s a marathon, it’s a journey. So, you can’t look at one game or one opportunity like it’s your last. The career doesn’t ride on one game, although you don’t want to take the importance away from it.”
Hall is correct that his career won’t be over if he struggles in Atlanta, but he can do one thing — seize the Vikings QB1 job by the neck. If he plays semi-competently, the job may remain his for the remainder of 2023. However, if he plays terribly, the Vikings also have quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs, Nick Mullens, and Sean Mannion on the roster.
“This is a 1-0 week for us, and it’s the only game I’m focused on, and it’s gotta be my Super Bowl every week because it’s the most important thing that’s coming next,” Hall concluded.
Hall waltzes into a dazzling situation, too. The Vikings offensive line is suddenly an elite unit. Brian Flores’ defense has matured rapidly in the last month, and soon, reigning Offensive Player of the Year Justin Jefferson will return from injured reserve.
He also has the benefit of a former quarterback and offensive-minded head coach in Kevin O’Connell to script a gameplan, so all signs scream for Hall to succeed — or at least not fall flat.
The Vikings placed Hall at the QB3 spot when the depth chart was published to start the season, meaning he wasn’t necessarily envisioned for a starter’s gig during his rookie season.
But like Brock Purdy in San Francisco last season, the time is now.
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).