NFL: Preseason-Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell did not commit to keeping Nick Mullens under center after Week 15's overtime loss to the Bengals. But that's exactly what he'll do, telling reporters Monday that Mullens will remain the starting quarterback for Sunday's upcoming game against the Lions.

The career backup got his first start of the 2023 season in Cincinnati, where he went 26 of 33 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 27-24 defeat. But O'Connell was complimentary of Mullens' confidence after the game.

"The biggest thing is Nick showed he can execute our offense and really move the football team," O'Connell said Sunday. "I think what we've got to continue to work through are those plays where we don't try to do too much."

Mullens is the fourth different QB to start for the Vikings this year. He opened 2023 as the No. 2 to regular starter Kirk Cousins, but when Cousins later suffered a torn Achilles, Mullens was unavailable due to a back injury of his own. Rookie Jaren Hall initially stepped in, only to suffer a concussion and be replaced by Joshua Dobbs, who was acquired at the trade deadline. Dobbs quickly became a fan favorite as an immediate dual threat, but flamed out with eight turnovers in a 2-2 stretch.

Mullens will be tasked with keeping the Vikings alive in the NFC playoff race against Detroit (10-4), which is still in contention for the conference's No. 1 seed. Minnesota would be in the playoffs as the No. 7 seed if the season ended today, but the Rams and Saints are also 7-7 entering the final three weeks.