Vikings will start Nick Mullens at QB for finale vs. Lions

Published 5:13 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS  — The Minnesota Vikings will start quarterback Nick Mullens in their final regular-season game, with their bid for the playoffs nearly exhausted by persistent problems at the vital position.

Coach Kevin O’Connell announced his decision before practice on Wednesday. The Vikings play at Detroit on Sunday, needing a win and three other NFC games to go their way to convert a postseason long shot.

Mullens replaced rookie Jaren Hall after halftime in last week’s loss to Green Bay, after an interception and a fumble by Hall each set up a Packers touchdown. That was the fifth quarterback switch in nine games for the Vikings, starting with the torn Achilles tendon for Kirk Cousins that uprooted everything.

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Hall was the first sub for Cousins, but a concussion forced him out of his first start. Joshua Dobbs gave the Vikings a brief spark, but he threw four interceptions in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 27 and was pulled from a scoreless game in his next appearance. Mullens took it from there, but he was picked off four times by Detroit on Dec. 24. That prompted O’Connell to pick Hall for the crucial game against Green Bay.

Vikings quarterbacks have accounted for 26 turnovers this season, tied for the most in the NFL.