Josh Dobbs endured his worst performance during his brief time with the Vikings during last night’s loss, and it remains to be seen if he will remain atop the quarterback depth chart after the team’s bye week. Head coach Kevin O’Connell acknowledged changes could be made ahead of Minnesota’s next game.
Dobbs was acquired at the trade deadline to provide depth in the wake of Kirk Cousins‘ Achilles tear. Fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall was initially set to take over starting duties, but his own injury thrust Dobbs into the lineup days after arriving with the team. The Vikings enjoyed early success with the latter in place, but he threw four interceptions in Week 12, bringing him to a total of eight turnovers in his four Minnesota appearances. Dobbs nearly received the hook yesterday, O’Connell said (via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert).
Hall has cleared concussion protocol, while Nick Mullens – initially in place as Cousins’ backup to start the season – has come off injured reserve. As a result, O’Connell will have multiple options to choose from during his evaluation of the QB situation over the team’s week off. Sitting at 6-6 on the year, the chances of a push for a wild-card spot need to be taken into account along with the upside of giving Hall developmental reps down the stretch.
“We’re going to take a look and really evaluate the inventory of plays we have of Josh,” O’Connell said, via Seifert. “We got healthy. We got Jaren back available to us, and then Nick Mullens is available as well.”
Dobbs and Mullens have similar levels of regular season experience and they have each bounced around to several teams in their respective careers. The latter has far more familiarity with O’Connell’s system, though, having been in Minnesota since 2022. On the other hand, Hall was drafted this past spring in the team’s only move to add a potential Cousins successor, so giving him an extended look could carry signficant importance for 2024 and beyond.
Cousins is set to hit free agency this offseason, though he and the team have expressed a desire to continue their relationship. While that situation will be a central one for the Vikings, their more immediate future under center is also uncertain as the stretch run looms.