EAGAN, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings are expected to give quarterback Nick Mullens his second consecutive start in Sunday’s key divisional game against the Detroit Lions, sources told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Mullens completed 26 of 33 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings’ 27-24 overtime loss Saturday to the Cincinnati Bengals. He threw two interceptions in the second quarter to end scoring threats, but largely adhered to coach Kevin O’Connell’s philosophy of getting the ball downfield to wide receivers. Rookie Jordan Addison caught six passes for 111 yards and both scores, while Justin Jefferson snagged seven passes for 84 yards in his first full game since Week 4.
O’Connell stopped short Saturday of naming Mullens his starter moving forward but left little doubt about his assessment of his play.
“The biggest thing is Nick showed he can execute our offense and really move the football team,” O’Connell said. “I think what we’ve got to continue to work through are those plays where we don’t try to do too much.”
Mullens opened the season as the Vikings’ No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins, but he was on injured reserve because of a back injury when Cousins ruptured his right Achilles in Week 8. The Vikings started rookie Jaren Hall once and then newcomer Joshua Dobbs for four games before turning to Mullens, who had been activated from injured reserve Nov. 18.
Saturday was the 18th start of Mullens’ NFL career. His teams are 5-13 in those games.