The Vikings Have Questions to Answer Before Week 14

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell on the sideline against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings fell to the Chicago Bears on Monday night, falling to 6-6 on the season.

After their five-game winning streak, they’ve now lost twice in a row and have allowed the chase pack in the NFC to catch up to them. With Minnesota now in the middle of their bye week, they have multiple questions to answer before they take on the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14.

Who Starts at QB?

Nov 27, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) warms up before the game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Dobbs burst onto the scene for the Vikings in Week 9 when he came in for Jaren Hall against the Falcons. He led an improbable comeback victory over Atlanta in that game and played a flawless first half against the New Orleans Saints to extend their winning streak to five games.

However, things have come down to earth over the past couple games. Dobbs was unable to get the Vikings a win in Denver, and then he threw 4 interceptions against the Bears last week. Kevin O’Connell had a chance to eliminate any doubt as to who would be the starter during his postgame press conference, but instead, he opened up the possibility of a change at the position.

So, who will be that guy? Does Dobbs get a chance at redemption? Should the Vikings dust off Nick Mullens? Is it time for Jaren Hall to step back into the starting lineup and prove himself? There are no answers right now, but Minnesota needs a win in Week 14.

How Does Jefferson’s Return Impact the Offense?

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings made the decision to activate Justin Jefferson from IR on Tuesday, and he is set to suit up in Week 14 against the Raiders following the bye week.

When Jefferson initially went on IR, the Vikings’ season seemed dead to rights as they sat at 1-4 and had a primetime matchup against the San Francisco 49ers coming up. Instead, they rattled off five straight wins and have found themselves back in the playoff picture.

So, how will Jefferson’s presence impact the offense? The Vikings have found great production from other pass-catchers during this seven-game stretch without him, and inevitably, targets for other players will be taken away with the star’s presence. However, they cannot revert to the early season where they force-fed him the ball to the point where the offense became predictable. It’s a fine line that the Vikings must dance on over the final five weeks.

Is Marcus Davenport Just Done?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers place kicker Eddy Pineiro (4) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Marcus Davenport (0) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Vikings’ premier free agency signings this spring was pass-rusher Marcus Davenport. He has had a bit of an inconsistent start to his career, but Minnesota was hoping that his potential would come to life and serve as a replacement for Za’Darius Smith.

Unfortunately, Davenport suffered a high ankle sprain against the Chicago Bears in Week 6, and he has been on IR ever since. There has been little discussion of a timeline for his return, either. The Vikings have gotten some great production from both Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum this season, but it would be helpful if they could get another piece of their defense back for the closing stretch.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.