The Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell evaluates Josh Dobbs, the path forward at QB
Kevin SeifertESPN staff writer3 minutes to read
MINNEAPOLIS — The most memorable story of the 2023 NFL season may soon be over.
After watching quarterback Josh Dobbs throw four interceptions Monday night in a 12-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said he will spend the team’s upcoming farewell reviewing the best path forward at the position.
Dobbs was forced into emergency duty in Week 9, five days after the Vikings acquired him in an Oct. 31 trade with the Arizona Cardinals, when rookie Jarren Hall suffered a concussion. Veteran Nick Mullins, who entered the season as the team’s No. 2 quarterback, was on injured reserve at the time with a back injury.
But Mullins is back on the active roster, and Hall cleared concussion protocol last week.
“We’re going to take a look and really evaluate our repertoire of plays for Josh,” O’Connell said. “We’re getting healthy. We got Jaren back, and then Nick Mullins is available as well.”
Dobbs nearly sat out of Monday night’s game, as O’Connell said, “We were definitely starting to get to the point where I was trying to think, almost, what’s going to give us a spark.”
But in the end, according to O’Connell, “Dobbs battled, didn’t let up, and just kept making plays and competing to try to help us win.”
Dobbs has committed a total of eight turnovers — five interceptions and three lost fumbles — in his four games with Minnesota. The Vikings have been plagued with turnovers all season. They rank No. 31 in the NFL in turnovers per game (2.0) and No. 30 in turnovers per game (-0.67). As O’Connell said Monday night, they “completely paralyze you.”
Dobbs was the third quarterback to start a game for the Vikings this season, following Kirk Cousins, who tore his right Achilles tendon in Week 8, and Hall.
Hall was the No. 3 quarterback against the Bears and by rule can only play if both Dobbs and Mullens are injured.
“I acknowledge (the objections), man,” Dobbs said. “I’m disappointed in myself because it starts with me. I’m going to be better than him. I’m going to learn from each one of them tonight, and we’re going to use that to build momentum for the next opportunity.”
However, it remains to be seen whether he will get another chance.
“Honestly, I think this is a coaching decision,” Dobbs said. “I’m just focused on myself. Focus on how I can help this team win. Focus on how I can be a better teammate, a better quarterback, and focused on how I can make sure the offense is on the right play based on the scenario I have to face.” ” Go out and do it.”