According to a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Minnesota Vikings are expected to start quarterback Nick Mullens against the Detroit Lions this week.
The Vikings have been trying to figure out their quarterback situation ever since starter Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles, ending his season after just eight games. Mullens was the team’s original backup quarterback—having been around since the beginning of the 2022 season—but at the time of Cousins’ injury, Mullens was on injured reserve with a back injury. So the Vikings went with third-string quarterback Jaren Hall for a game before he suffered an injury. Then it was Josh Dobbs’ job for the next four starts until he was benched in the middle of the team’s 3-0 win over the Raiders two weeks ago, for the now-healthy Mullens.
On Saturday, Mullens made his first start of the year for the Vikings (and his first start since 2021) in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Mullens completed an impressive 26 of his 33 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns. However, he also had two critical interceptions, both of which happened in scoring position. Mullens is also a more traditional pocket passer, which led him to be sacked three times in Cincinnati.
The Lions will be playing the Vikings with the NFC North title on the line. Detroit only needs one more win (or one more Vikings loss) in the final three games to clinch a division crown for the first time since 1993. So if Detroit can beat a backup Vikings quarterback this week, they’ll be popping champagne in the locker room.