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O'Connell: Mullens to Start for Vikings in Week 18 at Lions

EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell announced Wednesday that Nick Mullens will start for Minnesota in the Week 18 regular-season finale at Detroit Sunday.

The Vikings (7-9) are returning to Mullens a week after starting rookie Jaren Hall against Green Bay.

Mullens relieved Hall, who was making his second career start, to open the second half with Minnesota trailing by 20 points in an eventual 33-10 loss that reduced the Vikings chances at earning the final NFC Wild Card spot.

Detroit (11-5) has already clinched the NFC North (established 2002) for the first time in franchise history and is currently the No. 3 seed. The Lions could still move up to No. 2 with a win and losses later Sunday by the Cowboys and Eagles.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Jan. 7, 2024.

Mullens will be starting for the third time this season and appearing in his fifth game. He opened Minnesota's Week 16 home game against Detroit, as well as the week before at Cincinnati.

The Vikings logged a plethora of explosive plays against Detroit, with Mullens throwing for 411 yards on 22 completions, but also suffered four interceptions. Mullens tried to rally a comeback, but his deep pass to Justin Jefferson on first-and-10 from the 30-yard line was intercepted at the 5 with 49 seconds remaining.

For the season, Mullens has completed 70 of 104 passes (67.3 percent) for 910 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. His passer rating is 86.6.

Kickoff is at noon (CT).

Minnesota needs the following to happen to make the playoffs:

Win at Detroit


Arizona win against Seattle (3:25 p.m. CT)


Chicago win at Green Bay (3:25 p.m. CT)


Atlanta win at New Orleans (noon CT) OR Carolina win against Tampa Bay (noon CT)