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Vikings’ QB plans: All indicators level to this participant getting into 2024 as starter with spring practices winding down

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The Minnesota Vikings traded as much as spend a top-10 choose on J.J. McCarthy within the 2024 NFL Draft, securing a possible long-term substitute for the departed Kirk Cousins. However with spring practices practically full, all indicators level to veteran Sam Darnold getting into 2024 because the Vikings’ beginning quarterback.

Darnold, the ex-New York Jets castoff, signed only a one-year, backup-level contract in free company. However the former No. 3 total choose took practically all of Minnesota’s first-team reps throughout the minicamp and arranged staff actions (OTAs) open to reporters, per ESPN.

Not solely that, however Vikings coaches have been brazenly and privately cautious about granting McCarthy an excessive amount of duty as a rookie, in line with The Athletic: “They need to take this gradual,” Alec Lewis reviews. “To assist him develop confidence. To permit him to strive throws, make errors and be taught. Head coach Kevin O’Connell and his employees consider that is the very best path to long-term success, and everybody appears on board.”

Behind Darnold, who has 56 profession begins beneath his belt, McCarthy has been extra liable to take third-string reps at open practices, ESPN notes, with veteran backup Nick Mullens usually assigned No. 2 duties. The Vikings even have 2023 fifth-round choose Jaren Corridor on the offseason roster on the place.

This harks again to the sentiment seeping from inside Vikings headquarters instantly following the draft: Whereas Minnesota clearly likes McCarthy’s upside as a long-term fixture of the franchise, and in reality might need a ready-made supporting forged to ease his transition to the NFL stage, the staff would fairly take its time growing Cousins’ successor, particularly with Darnold in tow as low-risk, high-reward insurance coverage.

“The Vikings do not view Darnold merely as somebody they’ll play if McCarthy is not prepared for Week 1,” Kevin Seifert reported in Could. “It is extra correct to know him as a participant the Vikings consider they’ll compete with as McCarthy strikes by an organized developmental plan that prioritizes his long-term future. … Does that imply the Vikings have dominated out McCarthy as their Week 1 starter? In fact not. However they need his ascension to be natural — primarily based on his personal aptitude and readiness — fairly than compelled by a scarcity of alternate options.”

Might coaching camp and preseason flip the tide and rewrite September’s plans? Solely time will inform. For now, the secure guess is the Vikings will lean on the veteran arm, not less than initially.

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