EAGAN, Minnesota (FOX 9) - The Minnesota Vikings are still clinging to slim NFC Playoff hopes with two regular season games to play, and they’re making yet another change at quarterback.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said Thursday at TCO Performance Center in Eagan that rookie Jaren Hall will get his second start of the season. Nick Mullens is being benched after throwing four interceptions in last Sunday’s 30-24 loss to the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. With that win, the Lions clinched their first division title in 30 years.
Hall has not played in a game since going down with a concussion in the Vikings’ first offensive series of a 31-28 win at the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 5. He filled in late at Lambeau Field when Kirk Cousins went down with a torn right Achilles the week before. Hall was 5-of-6 for 78 yards in one series at Atlanta and had the Vikings on the verge of a touchdown before taking a big hit just short of the goal line. He left the game with a concussion and did not return.
He’s been the back-up to Mullens for the last two weeks.
"Now that he’s healthy, he’s had a great few weeks of preparation. Looking forward to seeing what Jaren can do," O'Connell said.
O’Connell is trying any button he can push to get the Vikings to the NFC Playoffs for the second straight season. Mullens has six interceptions in two starts, and the Vikings are among the worst in the NFL with 30 turnovers on the season. In their eight losses, they’ve had 23 turnovers. Joshua Dobbs has not played since being benched in the fourth quarter of a 3-0 win at the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Vikings need to beat the Packers on Sunday night, win at Detroit in the regular season finale, and get help from the L.A. Rams and Seattle Seahawks to make the playoffs.