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Minnesota Vikings will give QB Joshua Dobbs another start vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Vikings head to bye week after big loss to Bears
Vikings head to bye week after big loss to Bears 01:00

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have made a decision on their starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

On Wednesday, head coach Kevin O'Connell announced Joshua Dobbs will get another start under center.

"We're very confident in him," O'Connell said. "He got off to a great start this week on Monday with some extra work out with the guys and getting going so looking forward to that."

O'Connell intimated after the Nov. 27 loss to the Chicago Bears that a change at QB could be imminentDobbs went 22/32 in that game for 185 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. It was his worst performance of the season and the Vikings' second straight loss.

"Obviously I love the opportunity to start and compete and I plan on making the most of this opportunity and bouncing back from the last time on the field," Dobbs said.

"With Josh it was more of what can I do to continue to help him? My belief in him," O'Connell said. "I think it's important that Josh understands that I have that belief in him. We're not just looking at this like, 'Hey, you won us a couple games when we were shorthanded and now we're moving on.' I believe that Josh deserves the right to feel that belief from myself. I know he feels it from his teammates."

Though Dobbs will get another shot Sunday, O'Connell declined to commit to him for the rest of the season.

"Our whole mentality coming out of this bye is about 60 minutes on Sunday, so I really took that mindset with our gameplan," he said.

Rookie Jaren Hall took the reins after starter Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in October. In Hall's first career start, he went 5/6 for 78 yards and had the Vikings on the verge of an opening drive score before leaving the game with a concussion. Dobbs took over and played well enough to hold on to the starting job for the meantime.

"Jaren Hall's continued development is of the utmost importance to me personally and our organization and we really like where Jaren's at, getting healthy, coming off of getting out of the protocol and being available," O'Connell said.

Nick Mullens was the other QB on the roster under consideration. Mullens has the most experience in O'Connell's offense, having backed up Cousins for the entire 2022 season. He also has the most starts in the NFL among the group.

Dobbs will get a boost with the return of star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who hasn't played since being injured in the team's Oct. 8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Obviously JJ being out there, he's an efficient and dynamic playmaker," Dobbs said. "That changes having him in the lineup, but for me, I still go through my same process and trust the plans and trust the game that when the opportunities are there for him to get the ball, he'll get it and go out and make a play."

The Vikings are 6-6, firmly in the NFC playoff race, though with three division games remaining and several teams nipping at their heels, they're far from guaranteed a postseason spot.

Kickoff for Sunday's game is at 3:05 p.m. in Las Vegas.

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