Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell stuck with Josh Dobbs as his starting quarterback against the Raiders, but only after entertaining a change during the preceding bye week. Three-and-a-half quarters into Sunday's game, O'Connell finally pulled the plug, benching Dobbs in favor of backup Nick Mullens amid a scoreless matchup with Las Vegas.
Dobbs, who briefly captivated the NFL during his first appearances as the Vikings' emergency QB this fall, went just 10 of 23 (43%) for 63 yards, or 2.7 yards per attempt, before his exit. With a 50.8 passer rating for a scoreless offense, his performance helped Minnesota threaten to make history for the wrong reason Sunday; the last 0-0 tie in the NFL occurred back in 1943.
Dobbs had anticipated working with No. 1 wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who returned from a seven-game absence related to a hamstring injury. But Jefferson managed just two catches himself with a separate chest injury. The Vikings were also without starting running back Alexander Mattison (ankle) for much of the contest.
Mullens, meanwhile, would've been first in line to replace Kirk Cousins, the Vikings' regular starter, earlier this year had he not been injured himself. Dobbs was acquired via trade on Halloween in part because Mullens, the former 49ers backup, was on injured reserve at the time, recovering from a back issue. The latter appeared in four games in relief of Cousins in 2022, but his last extensive action came as San Francisco's backup from 2017-2020, when he started 17 different games.
Mullens was originally acquired via trade in 2022 -- from the Raiders, the Vikings' opponent Sunday.