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Vikings to start QB Nick Mullens vs. Bengals; Josh Dobbs benched after four starts

The Minnesota Vikings have decided to feature a new quarterback under center in Week 15.

Veteran Nick Mullens will be the starter in Saturday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation.

The Vikings later announced the news.

Mullens, who played in the fourth quarter in Sunday's 3-0 win in Las Vegas, gets the start over Josh Dobbs, who had started the past four games after heading to Minnesota in a trade deadline deal with the Cardinals.

In Week 14, Mullens went 9 of 13 for 83 yards to help lead the Vikings to a win after he came on in relief of Dobbs.

Dobbs' benching comes weeks after he had a sensational debut in relief in Week 9 after rookie Jaren Hall suffered a concussion. Dobbs came in relief days after he was traded from the Cardinals and only had a couple of days to learn the playbook. Dobbs exceeded every expectation when he entered, completing 20 of 30 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns for a comeback win in Atlanta.

With a memorable storyline and a 2-2 record as a starter in Minnesota, Dobbs was known as "The Passtronaut" due to his degree in aerospace engineering. Now, Dobbs will serve as the backup to Mullens this week.

Mullens, a six-year veteran out of Southern Miss, has 16 starts in his NFL career with the 49ers and one start with the Browns. Mullens has spent the past two seasons in Minnesota and earns his first start in a Vikings uniform in a game airing at 1 p.m. ET on NFL Network and streaming on NFL+.

The Vikings hope to have wide receiver Justin Jefferson in the lineup to help aid Mullens' first start since 2021. Jefferson recently came off injured reserve after missing a large portion of the season due to a hamstring injury, but exited Sunday's game after suffering a chest injury in the first half. On Monday, head coach Kevin O'Connell said the three-time Pro Bowl wideout has a "good chance" to be on the field against Cincinnati.

Mullens will be the Vikings' fourth starting QB this season. Minnesota has had Kirk Cousins, Hall and Dobbs all take snaps under center.

With the Vikings (7-6) in a tight battle for an NFC playoff spot, Minnesota is keeping its faith on Mullens to turn things around.

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