The Minnesota Vikings are making yet another change at quarterback with their playoff hopes on the line.
Nick Mullens will get the start at quarterback for the Vikings when they take on the Detroit Lions on Sunday, head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters on Wednesday.
“Like what went into the decision last week, Nick has been very effective moving the team,” O’Connell said. “We’ve been very explosive as an offense when he’s been out there. Nick knows that the one area we must focus on is the possession of the football and not giving the football away.
“Really on those weighty type downs where we’re kind of in that throw mode, he’s got to be a great decision-maker, trusting the other 10 guys to do their jobs at a really high level and try to overcome being on the road in a great atmosphere against a defense that’s playing really, really good football.”
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This is the third quarterback change the Vikings have made in the last four weeks. Mullens initially replaced Joshua Dobbs in the middle of their Week 14 win against the Las Vegas Raiders, taking the starting job for the Vikings when they faced the Bengals in Week 15. After throwing for 303 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in an overtime loss to the Bengals, Mullens struggled in the Week 16 loss to the Lions, throwing for 411 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossing four interceptions.
Mullens’ turnovers in Week 16 caused O’Connell to turn to Jaren Hall, who was initially the Vikings’ starting quarterback after Kirk Cousins suffered an Achilles tear in Week 8. But Hall suffered a concussion in his first start in Week 9. The fifth-round rookie didn’t impress either in the Vikings’ 33-10 loss to the Packers on Sunday, either. He completed just five of 10 passes for 67 yards and an interception, taking three sacks in the first half of Sunday’s game before being benched at halftime.
At 7-9, the Vikings still have a shot at making the playoffs. However, they don’t control their destiny. They need to beat the Lions on top of needing the Packers and Seahawks to lose, plus getting a loss from either the Buccaneers or Saints.
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