Vikings Rookie QB One Snap Away from the Real Thing

jaren hall
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Kirk Cousins will start his 86th game as the Minnesota Vikings QB1 this Sunday, a showdown with the Chicago Bears, a team that spanked the Washington Commanders on the road in Week 5.

The Vikings are favored to win by 2.5 points.

Vikings Rookie QB One Snap Away from the Real Thing

And while Cousins is extremely likely to complete the entire game — the man somehow never gets injured — an overlooked storyline exists in the division rivalry matchup. Rookie quarterback Jaren Hall is one snap away from the big time.

Vikings Rookie QB One
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

That’s right. Hall is the Vikings QB2 this weekend, barring a last-minute switch to newcomer-but-not-really-newcomer Sean Mannion. Minnesota curiously signed Mannion — the fifth time in four years they’ve inked the man to a contract — as a practice squad quarterback, but all signs point to Hall as Cousins’ backup.

Minnesota placed QB2 Nick Mullens on injured reserve this week on the same day Justin Jefferson was declared out for at least four games. Mullens, too, will miss at least four games, meaning it’s Hall or Mannion in a pinch as the viable reservist options behind Cousins.

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Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said about Hall this week, “Jaren is going to be the number two. He was last week. Thought he did a really nice job in his preparation with Chris (O’Hara, QB coach) and Grant (Udinski, assistant QB coach), and we would go in with a slightly modified plan for him as we move forward, just where he can have total ownership of what I would call if he were to be called into action.”

Hall showed a few flashes of promise during the preseason but looked closer to his biography during those games — a fifth-round rookie quarterback.

Main Reason to Watch
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“But I think it’s great for him, all part of that development that we’ve talked about the different phases of it from being that emergency third guy throughout these first four or five weeks to now shifting in a role where he’s really a snap away and how does his preparation match that,” O’Connell added about Hall’s development.

If Cousins were hampered for a play(s) or the rest of the game in Chicago, Hall would be inserted into the lineup, and trial by fire would be underway.

The Big Stuff
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Hall tabulated 62 total touchdowns to 11 interceptions in 31 games at BYU. For those who haven’t seen him play, he brings a diet Kyler Murray skillset to an offense.

He turned 25 in March and, at that age, should, in theory, be more game-ready than most rookie passers.


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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