Vikings turn to Jaren Hall again in latest spin of QB carousel

Full Screen
1 / 4

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

FILE - Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Nov. 5, 2023, in Atlanta. The Vikings have switched starting quarterbacks for the fourth time in nine weeks. They are handing the offense again to rookie Hall with two must-win games left for making the playoffs. He replaces Nick Mullens. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

EAGAN, Minn. – The Minnesota Vikings have switched starting quarterbacks for the fourth time in nine weeks, handing the offense again to rookie Jaren Hall with two must-win games left for making the playoffs.

Coach Kevin O'Connell announced Thursday that Hall will start Sunday against Green Bay, benching Nick Mullens after his six interceptions in two games doomed the Vikings (7-8) to defeat despite passing for 714 yards. Mullens was picked off four times last week against Detroit in a 30-24 loss.

Recommended Videos

Hall was the first sub summoned for Kirk Cousins, who tore his Achilles tendon on Oct. 29 in the fourth quarter of a 24-10 win at Green Bay. Hall, a fifth-round draft pick from BYU, started the following week at Atlanta with Mullens sidelined by a back injury. Hall suffered a concussion in the first quarter that put Joshua Dobbs into action. Dobbs made four starts before a healthy Mullens took over.

Hall, who is 8 for 10 for 101 yards passing and one sack plus four rushes for 10 yards this season, took about two weeks to be cleared for full activity after taking that hit to the head. Dobbs, who arrived in an emergency trade with Arizona after Cousins was hurt, had given the Vikings a clear spark in his first two appearances so there was reason to believe Hall wouldn't get another chance.

“Never a worry. Just trust the process,” he said before practice Thursday.

The Vikings need to win their last two games and have either the Rams or the Seahawks lose once to get the last wild-card spot in the NFC. In part to further Hall's development with more practice time and meaningful preparation, O'Connell made the rookie the backup to Mullens the past two weeks and had Dobbs as the emergency third quarterback.

“What made me feel comfortable with this is knowing how Jaren’s put in the work throughout this time,” O'Connell said.

Hall had two concussions in college, both in games in 2019, and he missed the entire 2020 season for BYU because of a hip injury. His mobility and awareness help make him a threat to run, but as evidenced by his first NFL start that can also make him vulnerable.

“There’s a lot of big dudes out there, a lot of fast dudes, and you’ve got to learn to play within the system and play the right way to avoid stuff like that happening to the best of your ability. It's definitely something I’ve noted and hopefully will be better at," Hall said. “You’ve just got to realize how fast guys play. You’ve got to be smart about the times you use your legs, and you’ve got to get down. There’s no superhero ball that you need to play. The game is won over four quarters and not one play, and you’ve just got to remember that. If you do what you need to do delivering the ball, you don’t have to be in those situations, for the most part.”



Recommended Videos