The start of the Kirk Cousins-less schedule did not go as planned for the Vikings, with rookie quarterback Jaren Hall leaving his debut due to a concussion. His replacement fared well, though, and he has earned a start as a result.
Josh Dobbs – who was thrust into action days after arriving with the Vikings because of Hall’s injury – led his new team to a dramatic comeback victory. Dobbs threw a touchdown in the final minute of play to help Minnesota earn a 31-28 win, and his performance will see him take first-team reps in practice this week. Head coach Kevin O’Connell named Dobbs the team’s projected Week 10 starter on Monday.
As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero notes, Hall is in concussion protocol, which threatens his availability for the team’s upcoming game against the Saints. With fellow depth option Nick Mullens on IR, it comes as no surprise that Minnesota will turn to Dobbs at the top of the re-arranged QB depth chart. Cousins’ Achilles tear has left the team in need of a bridge starter to close out the season.
That unfortunate turn appeared to give Hall a chance to receive valuable in-game action to help his own development and the Vikings’ evaluation of a potential Cousins successor. The latter is set to have his contract expire this offseason, and it remains to be seen if a new deal will be worked out in the coming months. A fifth-rounder out of BYU, Hall has managed only 22 snaps between the end of Week 8 and the beginning of yesterday’s contest, however.
Cousins’ injury led to Minnesota’s decision to add an experienced insurance policy under center, which took the form of the Dobbs acquisition. The latter started eight games with the Cardinals in the absence of Kyler Murray this season, arriving in the desert after being dealt away by the Browns in a deal which came about rather suddenly. Having developed a knack for playing on extremely short notice dating back to his Titans cameo last season, Dobbs will find himself in familiar territory next week when he starts his first Vikings game. It will be interesting to see how he performs against New Orleans and how Minnesota handles the QB spot once Hall is cleared.