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Nick Mullens To Start for Vikings in Week 15

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The Vikings, who entered this season with one of the most durable quarterbacks in NFL history, will soon match the Browns for QB1 volume. Minnesota is set to start Nick Mullens in Week 15, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero.

Mullens replaced Josh Dobbs in the Vikings’ 3-0 win over the Raiders. While Dobbs fared well when called upon shortly after the midseason trade, he has struggled in recent weeks. Mullens has been with the Vikings since the team added him just before the 2022 season.

Minnesota will go from Kirk Cousins to Jaren Hall to Dobbs to Mullens as its starting quarterbacks this season. The team turned to Dobbs initially due to a Hall concussion and Mullens residing on IR. The team activated the former 49ers UDFA from IR last month, and he will suddenly become a key factor in the NFC playoff race.

A Southern Miss product Kyle Shanahan once used as San Francisco’s primary starter after Jimmy Garoppolo‘s 2018 ACL tear, Mullens has 17 starts under his belt. He has not started a game since 2021, which came about due to both Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum residing in the COVID-19 protocol that December. Mullens, however, made eight starts in both the 2018 and ’20 seasons.

After waiving Kellen Mond in August 2022, the Vikings signed Mullens to back up Cousins. The team re-signed the reserve arm to a two-year, $4MM deal this offseason. That AAV checked in south of many QB2 contracts this offseason, but the Vikings had not needed to worry about an injury to their starting quarterback since Sam Bradford went down in September 2017. Cousins had never missed a game due to injury in his career prior to the Achilles tear he suffered in October. With Mullens already on IR with the above-referenced back injury, the team trotted out Hall. But it backstopped the fifth-round rookie with Dobbs, acquired from the Cardinals in a deadline-day pick-swap trade.

Following Dobbs’ four-INT showing in a Week 12 loss to the Bears, Kevin O’Connell said the team would revisit its QB hierarchy during the bye week. With Justin Jefferson coming back in Week 14, the Vikings chose to give Dobbs another chance. Amid the only 3-0 game played indoors in NFL history, O’Connell yanked Dobbs and called in Mullens, whose 9-for-13 showing helped the team escape Las Vegas with a game-winning field goal.

Mullens, 28, holds a career 65.4% completion rate. Finishing with an impressive 8.3 yards per attempt as a rookie, Mullens carries a career 7.7 mark in that category. Being at the controls for George Kittle‘s then-record season for tight end receiving yards, Mullens has thrown 27 career touchdown passes compared to 23 interceptions. The Vikings will see how viable the sixth-year vet is outside of Shanahan’s system, giving him the keys as they attempt to either hold onto wild-card real estate or eclipse the Lions in the NFC North.

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