One Viking Called Winner of Trade Deadline

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When the Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins for the season because of a torn Achilles tendon, the season went down the toilet. At least it felt that way. A few days later, some optimism is back in the Twin Cities. Fans still bemoan the loss of their starting quarterback, but they are also excited to see what their rookie passer can do.

One Viking Called Winner of Trade Deadline

Fifth-round pick Jaren Hall was named the starter for Sunday’s meeting with the Atlanta Falcons. Their defense just allowed fellow rookie Will Levis to fire up four touchdowns against them in his first career start. They will meet their second straight rookie signal-caller in the first start of their careers. A strange coincidence.

Depending on how well Hall performs, he will either keep the job or has to make room for Nick Mullens, who is eligible to return from IR next week, or the new acquisition, Joshua Dobbs.

1 Viking Called Winner of Trade Deadline
Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports.

Dobbs was brought in from Arizona right before the trade deadline. He started the first eight games for the Cardinals as star QB Kyler Murray is still recovering from a torn ACL. Dobbs was called a winner of the trade deadline by CBS Sports’s Jeff Kerr.

Dobbs may be heading to his seventh NFL team, but this is much better than the alternative he had in Arizona. The Cardinals ended up benching Dobbs this week and turning to Clayton Tune for this week, before eventually going back to Kyler Murray.

Dobbs could have sat on the bench in Arizona for the rest of the year after being the bridge quarterback for the firts half of the year. Now, he gets an opportunity to start at quarterback for a better team in the Minnesota Vikings that has a shot at the playoffs.

Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports

The newest Viking is a strange figure in the NFL world. Minnesota is his seventh station of his NFL career, which is already strange because he is much better than a player who is supposed to fight for a practice squad or backup job. He has proven he is a good backup or someone who could be a low-end starter somewhere.

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Another strange aspect is that head coach Jonathan Gannon announced him as the starter after the game but changed his mind on Monday and named rookie Clayton Tune the new starting QB. A weird outcome, as Dobbs has played well enough to keep the Cardinals in a bunch of close games, although they should’ve lost those contests in a blowout fashion.

Perhaps Gannon knew a trade was coming and tried to send a message to the locker room that they weren’t shipping away their top passer and instead traded him away because he didn’t meet their standards.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Regardless, Dobbs should be happy about a fresh start as Murray is returning soon from his injury. He landed in a great situation. Replacing Cousins will not be easy in an offense that heavily relies on his ownership of the offense and his ability to make high-level throws consistently. However, he will not come back this year, so the Vikings have to work with Dobbs, Hall, and Mullens. They have the necessary playmakers and the offensive play-caller to make it work. Kerr agrees with that.

The Vikings are currently the No. 7 seed in the NFC and, after losing Kirk Cousins for the season with a torn Achilles, now have a quarterback who is competent enough to compete in games. Dobbs will also have Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn and eventually Justin Jefferson to throw to. He’ll get to raise his stock as a starting quarterback ahead of free agency.

Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) during their football game Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Minnesota defeated Green Bay 24-10. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

Dobbs will hit free agency, but good performances will make his stock rise. Behind Minnesota’s surprisingly strong offensive line and Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, K.J. Osborn, and T.J. Hockenson to throw to, he is in a wonderful spot to perform well. The only issue is the familiarity with the offense, but he was in a similar situation in Arizona and last season in Tennessee. Head coach Kevin O’Connell praised his intelligence, which should help him to learn the offense quicker.

The 28-year-old can certainly be considered a winner of the deadline. He has shown to be a solid and reliable quarterback, even in a worse offense. Hall will get the first shot at the starting gig, but Dobbs is a good backup plan and waiting for his opportunity.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt