MINNEAPOLIS (ABC4 Sports) – At this time last year, Jaren Hall was preparing to play Boise State.
Now, the former BYU quarterback is getting ready to take on the Atlanta Falcons.
Hall, a fifth round draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, will make his first career NFL start for the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday. Starter Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon last week against Green Bay, and Minnesota’s backup quarterback Nick Mullens is not eligible to come off the injured reserve list until next week.
The Vikings did trade for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Joshua Dobbs today, but he will not be ready to take over the starting job until next week at the soonest.
Hall, a former Maple Mountain High School star, replaced the injured Cousins in the fourth quarter against the Packers, and completed three of four passes for 23 yards in his first NFL regular season appearance.
“The way I really see it as, hopefully, Jaren goes out and plays great on Sunday and there’s a lot to build off of there,” O’Connell added. “We’re still going to prepare Josh Dobbs like he’s not only one snap away, but just as we move forward, evaluate what gives us the best possible chance to win.”
The only other quarterback in the building was Sean Mannion, who was added to the practice squad when Mullens was injured. But the Vikings are still hoping to contend for a playoff spot after pulling their record even at 4-4, and team officials believed they needed a better option behind Hall than Mannion.
O’Connell had said Monday that the Vikings would consider adding a more prominent quarterback if they could do it within the “dual worlds” of their competitive rebuild, an approach designed to remain in playoff contention while overhauling the roster. Dobbs would not necessarily figure into their future plans, but his acquisition also did not extract the kind of resources the Vikings hope to use to build their 2024 team and beyond.
In four seasons at BYU, Hall played in 31 games, throwing for 6,174 yards and 52 touchdowns.
Hall is one of two former BYU quarterbacks, along with Zach Wilson of the New York Jets, that will start NFL games this Sunday.