Vikings to start QB Nick Mullens over Dobbs on Saturday

The Minnesota Vikings will start veteran Nick Mullens on Saturday, which will make him the fourth quarterback to start for the team this season, per Twin Cities affiliate KSTP.

The organization announced the quarterback change on Tuesday, two days after Mullens replaced Joshua Dobbs late in the game in Las Vegas, leading the Vikings to a 3-0 win over the Raiders.

Dobbs burst onto the scene on short notice after being acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline and being thrust into action when rookie Jaren Hall left the game in Atlanta early due to injury. Despite just five days with the team, Dobbs threw 158 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for 66 yards and another touchdown in the win over the Falcons.

He followed that up by throwing for 268 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 44 yards and another touchdown in his first Vikings start the next week against the Saints. However, he struggled more the past three games.

Despite passing for 221 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 21 yards and another touchdown against Denver, he also fumbled three times and threw an interception. Then he was held to 185 yards passing and 11 yards rushing, with only one passing touchdown in a loss to Chicago before he was benched late Sunday after going 10 for 23 for 63 yards and adding 21 yards on the ground against the Raiders.

Mullens has played in 25 games in his career but has mostly been a backup, coming on in relief in eight of those games. The 28-year-old threw for 83 yards while completing 9 of his 13 passes against the Raiders in his only action so far this year. Last year, he came into four games for the Vikings and completed 21 of his 25 passes for 224 yards, with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Overall, he’s got career totals of 5,168 passing yards and 27 touchdowns with a 65% completion rate on 668 pass attempts and 23 interceptions.

Minnesota plays in Cincinnati on Saturday as part of a special tripleheader for the NFL, as announced late last month.

After that game, the Vikings will finish the regular season with three divisional matchups — against Detroit, against Green Bay and at Detroit.

As of Tuesday, the Vikings (7-6) were sixth in the NFC, good enough for a wild card spot in the playoff picture but still two games behind the Lions for the top spot in the division.