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Vikings sticking with QB Joshua Dobbs, will start vs. Raiders on Sunday

The Minnesota Vikings are going to stand beside quarterback Joshua Dobbs as the starter. ... At least for one more week.

On Wednesday, head coach Kevin O'Connell announced his decision to go with the seven-year veteran for the Vikings' game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. Instead of turning to Nick Mullens or third stringer Jaren Hall, O'Connell spent the bye week reworking his offense to better enable Dobbs to succeed.

"We've been in a process of trying to provide him with clarity on what we're doing offensively and then we're learning a lot about each other as we go," O'Connell said. "That's why I love having him here — his work ethic, spending a lot of time with him, getting to know him, and continuing to dive deeper into what helps him be the best version of himself. That's what I know that we pride ourselves on around here, is helping our players do that.

"So whether it's schematically, fundamentally, what are we asking him to do in what situation or phase of the game? That's where we can continue to all elevate our ability to help each other but, more importantly, elevate Josh's ability to sustain success."

O'Connell was forced to consider moving away from Dobbs, after the quarterback committed six turnovers in Minnesota's last two games against the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos — both losses.

At 6-6, the Vikings couldn't afford to lose anymore ground after its Week 13 bye if it wanted to remain in the NFC playoff picture. And especially when two of its five final games are against the NFC North leading Detroit Lions.

In addition to the schematic changes that O'Connell said he made, Dobbs will receive a tremendous boost from the return of receiver Justin Jefferson. The reigning Offensive Player of the Year missed seven games after suffering a right hamstring injury against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Jefferson said his recovery was taking time, because this was the first hamstring injury he suffered in his football career ever.

Which quarterback could best take advantage of Jefferson's All-Pro talent was also a major factor in O'Connell's decision at quarterback.

"Justin's role in our offense, really from Day 1 since we arrived here, has always been very, very significant," O'Connell told reporters a week ago. "... Anytime you can infuse the best receiver in football back into your offense, there's going to be ways to not only get Justin going and make sure he has a critical impact on the football game ... [and] the quarterback position absolutely plays into that.

"We're going to make sure that whoever is playing quarterback is aware and understands the intent behind plays where either Justin is the primary, or based upon coverage, based upon the defensive look, how to quickly and efficiently get to the right place to go with the football."