Minnesota Vikings

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell doubles down on QB evaluation during bye week

The Minnesota Vikings might come out of their bye week with a new quarterback strategy.

Following Monday night’s 12-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, head coach Kevin O’Connell of the Vikings stated that the team would examine the quarterback position prior to their next game, which could be an indication that Josh Dobbs will be replaced temporarily.

With Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall, the other two quarterbacks on the Vikings roster, both in good health, Minnesota has an abundance of options behind the plate. O’Connell emphasized that the quarterback position still needs to be resolved even though the rest of the offense should be in place when Justin Jefferson returns the following week.

As a result, I believe that when you look at our skill group as a whole, the quarterback position needs to be assessed to see what we believe gives us the best chance to win based on the individual skill sets of each of those three players. Then, we can examine that to see what position is currently the best fit for our team. We are currently working on that.

Where the Vikings go from here

After losing Kirk Cousins to an Achilles tear, the Vikings turn to rookie quarterback Jaren Hall and veteran Nick Mullens as the next up options at quarterback

The Vikings can spend more time searching for a quarterback because they have the benefit of a bye this week. Unfortunately, at this point, none of the options really jump out.

It would seem improbable that Minnesota returns to Dobbs right away following his four-interception performance on Monday.O’Connell did not make a long-term commitment to Dobbs, but he did give Dobbs credit for helping the Vikings win two games to salvage their season.

Minnesota will now have to choose between Hall and Mullens, two quarterbacks with drastically different backgrounds and skill sets.

In a brief period as the starter earlier this year, Hall—a fifth-round selection by the Vikings in this year’s draft—looked good. Hall completed five of his six passing attempts for 78 yards in Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons before leaving due to an injury, which set up Dobbs’ incredible comeback in his Vikings debut.

To a lesser extent than Mullens, Hall also poses a dual threat. During his two seasons as a starter at BYU, he averaged 4.4 yards per attempt and gained 657 yards in 22 games as a rusher.

Mullens has been a starter in the NFL for the previous seven seasons. 16 of his 17 starts as a professional came during his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers from 2018 to 2020. Mullens had an 86.2 passer rating, 4,552 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions in the games he started. He finished 5–12 overall.

Mullens’ previous season with the Vikings may give him an advantage. Despite never playing significant snaps, he filled in for Kirk Cousins for four games and, at the very least, has more experience studying the offense than Hall and Dobbs.

When the Vikings play in Las Vegas on Sunday, there’s a very good chance they’ll start their fourth different quarterback of the year. Even though Kevin O’Connell and his team have a lot on their plates, Minnesota can at least celebrate the return of Justin Jefferson, its best player.

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