EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner abruptly resigned Wednesday, two days after Minnesota lost its second consecutive game with its offense nowhere to be found.
The Vikings have scored only 10 points in each of those losses after a 5-0 start to the season. Turner was replaced on an interim basis by Pat Shurmur.
Coach Mike Zimmer picked Turner to run his offense when he was hired by the team in 2014. After two seasons of unremarkable production, Zimmer hired Tony Sparano as offensive line coach and Shurmur as tight ends coach to work with Turner.
That put three former NFL head coaches on the offensive staff. Zimmer said he valued the diversity of perspectives and voices that brought to the strategizing on that side of the ball, but Shurmur's arrival raised plenty of eyebrows around the league since he was overqualified for simply coaching tight ends. This is Shurmur's 18th year in the NFL, including two seasons as Cleveland's head coach and three years as Philadelphia's offensive coordinator.
Last season, Shurmur had Sam Bradford as his quarterback, and his input helped Vikings general manager Rick Spielman make the emergency trade for Bradford on Sept. 3 after Teddy Bridgewater was hurt. Shurmur was also Bradford's offensive coordinator in 2010, the quarterback's rookie year with St. Louis.
Zimmer was scheduled to discuss the move later Wednesday before practice in preparation for the upcoming game against Detroit. The Vikings (5-2) host the Lions on Sunday, still in first place in the NFC North despite their stumble out of the bye.
Turner has been a head coach in the NFL for 15 years. This was his 10th season as an offensive coordinator in the league. The 64-year-old has been with nine different NFL teams. Turner's son, Scott, remains Minnesota's quarterbacks coach.