Vikings sticking with Mullens at QB

Despite a tough loss in overtime on Saturday to Cincinnati, the Minnesota Vikings aren’t making a quarterback change.

Monday, Head Coach Kevin O’Connell announced that Nick Mullens will make his second start in a row when Detroit comes to Minneapolis on Christmas Eve.

Mullens got the start against the Bengals after coming on late in the game against Las Vegas and leading the offense to its only points of the game. In his first start of the season, he threw for 303 yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 26 of his 33 passes. However, he also threw two ill-timed interceptions and was stuffed on a quarterback sneak in overtime.

With the loss, the Vikings fell to 7-7, and while they’re still in the playoff picture, they’re also now tied with the Rams and Saints, and just a game ahead of multiple other teams. That makes the final three weeks of the season critical, and all three are divisional matchups.

After hosting the Lions on Sunday, the Vikings will host the Packers on Sunday night on New Year’s Eve before finishing the season on Jan. 7 in Detroit.

Saturday’s loss also moved the Vikings three games back of the Lions in the division, which means the Vikings would not only need to beat Detroit twice in three weeks but also have Dallas beat the Lions on Dec. 30 for the Vikings to win the division.

The team is also hoping to get veteran linebacker Jordan Hicks back soon, formally opening his 21-day practice window on Monday. He’s been out since needing emergency surgery for compartment syndrome after Minnesota’s Nov. 12 win over New Orleans.

The team has planned a “white out” for Sunday’s game.