The Vikings’ Long QB Saga Will Lead to Franchise History in Week 15

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 made their latest QB decision on Tuesday afternoon.

When the Vikings take on the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend, it will be Nick Mullens who is under center. It’s been a long QB saga for the Minnesota Vikings this season, and once Mullens takes the first offensive snap of the game, he will make Vikings franchise history by becoming the fourth starting QB of the season.

The Vikings’ Long QB Saga Will Lead to Franchise History

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (12) celebrates after the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This iteration of the Minnesota Vikings became the 13th to start three different QBs in a single season, according to Pro Football Reference. Here’s a look at the other instances in which this has happened:

  • 1966
  • 1971
  • 1977
  • 1983
  • 1984
  • 1987
  • 2001
  • 2007
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2023

Coming into this season, no one would have expected to see the Vikings use two starting QBs, let alone three or four. Throughout his first eight seasons as a full-time starter, Cousins had rarely ever shown any signs of an injury and had never missed a start because of an ailment.

QB Saga
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, that all changed when he tore his Achilles tendon in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers. This forced rookie Jaren Hall to finish that game, and then, he was named the starter for the Week 9 against the Atlanta Falcons.

However, that start was short-lived as Hall suffered a concussion on Minnesota’s second drive of the game as he tried to scramble for a touchdown in the red zone. As a result, the Vikings were forced to throw Josh Dobbs into the lineup, who had been with the team for about five days after being acquired via trade from the Arizona Cardinals.

Dobbs led the Vikings to a big comeback win, and he remained the starter moving forward. The journeyman played a really strong game against the New Orleans Saints the following week, leading the Vikings to their fifth consecutive win.

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) reacts after running for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

However, things took a turn after that. Minnesota fell just short against the Denver Broncos in Week 11 and again against the Chicago Bears in Week 12. They went into their bye on a two-game losing streak, and once again, questions swirled around the QB position.

Ever the optimist, Kevin O’Connell expressed faith in Dobbs one more time going into Week 14 against the Las Vegas Raiders, but that game proved to be the end of the experience. The Vikings scored zero points through the first three quarters, and the head coach opted to pull Dobbs in favor of Mullens.

Mullens led a field goal drive that extended past the two-minute warning, and Minnesota ended up winning by a score of 3-0. Now, the Vikings stand at 7-6 and remain in the No. 6 seed in the NFC despite all their hiccups throughout the past month.

With a Week 15 game against Jake Browning’s Cincinnati Bengals coming up, Minnesota needs to continue their winning ways to inch closer towards securing a spot in the playoffs this season. We’ll see if the fourth time is the charm for Kevin O’Connell and the Vikings offense.

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.