Vikings Rumors: Nick Mullens expected to remain QB1 for rest of 2023

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In his first NFL start since 2021, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens completed almost 80 percent of his passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Saturday.

However, Mullens also threw a pair of interceptions in the matchup (and a pick-six that was negated by a penalty), and these turnovers have resulted in some questioning whether he should remain the Vikings' starting signal-caller moving forward.

Well, Minnesota has already named Mullens as their starter for their upcoming Week 16 divisional showdown against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, and it sounds like he will likely remain at the top of the team's quarterback depth chart for the remainder of the 2023 season as well.

Vikings Rumors: Minnesota unlikely to make another quarterback change this season

On the latest episode of the "Access Vikings" podcast, the Star Tribune's Ben Goessling was asked if he could envision the Vikings ever being in a spot during the final three weeks of the season where they would feel the need to remove Mullens as their starting signal-caller.

Here's how Goessling responded.

"No, I don't think they'll move off of [Mullens], barring some sequence of events that looks like he just can't play the position.

But what else are you going to do? Are you going to go back to Josh Dobbs? Are you going to go with the rookie that you have been sort of saying we want to just let him marinate the whole time? That seems to be how they're approaching that.

I can't imagine that they are going to move off of Mullens unless they are forced to do so by some sequence of events, either injury or just gross ineffectiveness.

So yeah, I think it's probably him the rest of the way."

Goessling is on the Vikings beat for the Star Tribune, so his estimation is based on a combination of things he's heard from the people inside the team's locker room and how the current regime has approached similar situations in the past.

Remember, Minnesota kept Josh Dobbs as their starting quarterback for four games until they felt a change was necessary. Even as Dobbs struggled to hang on to the football each week, Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell still wanted to see if he could turn things around.

O'Connell was also hesitant to name rookie quarterback Jaren Hall the team's starter back in Week 9 when Minnesota's only other options at the time were Sean Mannion or Dobbs right after he was acquired at the trade deadline.

So, just as Goessling said, we should expect Mullens to remain the Vikings' starting quarterback for the rest of the 2023 season unless he gets injured or his performance out on the field drastically declines.