Vikings Coach Kevin O'Connell to Assess QB Josh Dobbs' Future



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Vikings Coach Kevin O'Connell to Assess QB Josh Dobbs' Future
© Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

In the tumultuous 2023 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings are facing a critical juncture. Following a narrow 12-10 defeat to the Chicago Bears, where quarterback Josh Dobbs threw four interceptions, head coach Kevin O'Connell is poised to reassess the team's quarterback strategy during the upcoming bye week.

Dobbs, an unexpected starter in Week 9 after a trade from the Arizona Cardinals, stepped in due to rookie Jaren Hall's concussion. With the team's initial backup, Nick Mullens, sidelined by a back injury, Dobbs' entry was a necessity rather than a choice.

Now, with Mullens back and Hall cleared from concussion protocol, O'Connell is facing a decision on who should lead the Vikings' offense. "We'll carefully evaluate our options with Josh," O'Connell stated. "Jaren is now available, and so is Nick Mullens." The Vikings' season has been marred by turnovers, a problem exacerbated by Dobbs' eight turnovers in four games - five interceptions and three lost fumbles.

Ranking 31st in the NFL for turnovers per game and 30th for turnover margin, the Vikings are in dire need of stability. Dobbs' tenure with the Vikings has been a rollercoaster. Despite a challenging game against the Bears, where O'Connell considered a change to ignite the team, Dobbs continued to play determinedly.

"He battled hard and didn't flinch, striving to lead us to victory," O'Connell noted.

Vikings' QB Shuffle

The Vikings have navigated quarterback changes throughout the season, with Kirk Cousins' Achilles tendon injury in Week 8 adding to their challenges.

Hall, who was third in line against the Bears, was only available if both Dobbs and Mullens were incapacitated. Reflecting on his performance and the interceptions, Dobbs expressed frustration but remained focused on improvement.

"I'm learning from each mistake," he said, "and I'll use this experience to gain momentum for the next opportunity." Dobbs' future as a starter, however, is uncertain. "That's a decision for the coaches," he remarked, emphasizing his commitment to the team's success and his role in it.

As the Vikings navigate this crucial phase, the direction they choose at quarterback will be pivotal in defining their season's trajectory.

Minnesota Vikings