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Jaren Hall named Vikings starting QB with season on the line

Vikings confirm that rookie Jaren Hall will start against the Packers
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It's Jaren Hall's turn to try and save the Vikings. 

Head coach Kevin O'Connell named the rookie from BYU the team's starting quarterback for Sunday night's prime-time showdown against the Green Bay Packers – a game that will either keep the Vikings alive in the playoff race or eliminate them from contention. 

O'Connell confirmed via an announcement on Vikings social media accounts that Hall has been named the starter for Week 17. The post simply reads: "Head Coach Kevin O’Connell has announced that Jaren Hall will start for the [Vikings] Sunday night."

"He's had a few great weeks of preparation and looking forward to seeing what Jaren can do," O'Connell said Thursday. 

Hall started Minnesota's Week 9 game against Atlanta but suffered a concussion on the second offensive series of the game. Josh Dobbs replaced him and led Minnesota to consecutive wins before struggling in consecutive starts against the Broncos, Bears and Raiders. 

Nick Mullens replaced Dobbs in the fourth quarter against Las Vegas and then threw six interceptions in back-to-back losses to the Bengals and Lions, essentially paving the path for Hall to reclaim the starting job in a must-win game Sunday night against the rival Packers. 

"We have to maintain possession of the football. The turnover margin has been well talked about all season long," O'Connell explained after praising Nick Mullens for leading the Vikings to 24 points in back-to-back starts. "Just felt like at this time, giving Jaren a full week of preparation and a clear-cut mindset on the game plan, excited to see what Jaren can ultimately do."

"What made me feel comfortable with this is knowing how Jaren's put in the work," the coach added. 

Hall said it took him "about two weeks" to feel like himself again after his "brain was a little rattled" in his first career start against the Falcons. He was the emergency QB for a couple of Dobbs' starts before being elevated to the backup each of the last two weeks. 

Jaren Hall

Jaren Hall