In the face of Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury, the Minnesota Vikings have secured a viable replacement. Contingent upon an announced deal with the Arizona Cardinals, the Vikings are set to welcome quarterback Josh Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round draft pick. In return, the Cardinals receive a 2024 sixth-round pick. News of the transaction broke just before the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
This development emerged just 24 hours after the Cardinals made known their plans to relegate Dobbs to the bench. Dobbs had been the first-string quarterback since the start of the season, filling the void left by injured Kyler Murray. However, the decision to bench him came in the wake of team losses, notably the recent defeat against the Baltimore Ravens, as per the assessments of head coach Jonathan Gannon.
Upon joining the Vikings, Dobbs will team up with Jaren Hall. Hall, a fifth-round 2023 draft pick for the team, stepped up to replace Cousins during the fourth quarter of the recent game against the Green Bay Packers, following Cousins’ unfortunate mishap. Hall gave a decent account of himself in this appearance, making successful throws on three of four attempts covering a total of 23 yards.
Dobbs landed a spot on the Cardinals’ roster just a week before the start of the season, taking the position of Clayton Tune, who in turn was substituting for seasoned veteran Colt McCoy before his release. Looking ahead, Tune might be starting Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns unless Murray, who has been training but deemed unfit for recent games, recovers in time.
Dobbs’ demotion might indicate the Cardinals’ readiness to reintroduce their number one overall pick to the game’s starting lineup. Notably, Dobbs is no stranger to inheriting an offense. Last year, in the Tennessee Titans, he faced a similar challenge, demonstrating commendable skills despite the team losing both games he started.
Now joining the Vikings, who are sitting at a .500 record and, thanks to a three-game winning streak, have regained some playoff aspirations, Dobbs is offered another shot to prove his mettle. Still, there’s substantial uncertainty clouding whether Dobbs will spearhead the Viking’s offense when they hit the road to face the Atlanta Falcons this coming Sunday.
Learning the ropes of offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell’s game plan will be a key factor to determine Dobbs’ potential start. However, recalling his swift adoption of the Cardinals’ playbook and commendable performance at the helm of their offense in the earlier weeks, there is reason for optimism.
During Dobbs’ stint with the Titans last season, his records were subdued, albeit not damning. Despite two losses, he managed to throw two touchdowns, conceded two interceptions, and chalked up 411 passing yards in total. Complementing these stats at his new home will be his paramount goal.
Upon assuming this new responsibility, Dobbs will be in good company, working alongside reliable offensive teammates. With All-Pro Justin Jefferson nursing a hamstring problem, Jordan Addison has emerged as the team’s foremost receiver, consistently impressing during the team’s recent winning streak.
Addison won’t be the only weapon at Dobbs’ disposal, though. The team’s tight end, T.J. Hockenson, and another receiver, K.J. Osborn, have also contributed to the Vikings’ triumphant run. The trio’s cohesion with Dobbs or Hall will be an essential component of Minnesota’s forthcoming strategies.
The stakes are high for the Minnesota Vikings as their playoff aspirations hinge on maintaining their recent winning surge. Consequently, they’re expected to pull out all the stops to achieve victory, not least in light of Cousins’ uncertain future as he goes through therapy for his injured Achilles.
For the Vikings, gambling on Dobbs might be their best shot at addressing their current quarterbacking predicament. Considering his experience and adaptability, Dobbs is seen as a potential orchestrator of the team’s offense, and this opportunity to step up could be the turning point of his professional career.