Josh Dobbs Has One Major Weakness

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On Halloween, the Minnesota Vikings traded a 6th-Round draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for quarterback Josh Dobbs and a 7th-Rounder.

The swap was a response to Kirk Cousins’ injury, who will miss the rest of 2023 with a torn Achilles.

Josh Dobbs Has One Major Weakness

Five days following the Dobbs trade, rookie quarterback Jaren Hall was injured (concussion) at the Atlanta Falcons, and Dobbs trotted onto the field with limited preparation.

Josh Dobbs Has One
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All he did was lead the Vikings to an improbable but crucial road win, accounting for 3 touchdowns and looking like a Pro Bowler in the 2nd Half. Dobbs won Vikings fans’ hearts — perhaps eternally — and is on deck to start in Week 10 with Hall in the concussion protocol.

Indeed, because of mobility, which Vikings faithful haven’t seen from a quarterback since Christian Ponder or Joe Web, Dobbs was a breath of fresh air. His upside is to-be-determined, but if Sunday was a reasonable indicator, Minnesota could reach the postseason tournament with Dobbs and do a little damage in January if the team feels frisky.

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Dobbs has one major gridiron sin, though, that can hopefully be remedied on the fly by Kevin O’Connell’s coaching staff — fumbles.

There are a lot of fumbles attached to the man’s resume.

As Vikings loyalists sign up for more of the 2023 rollercoaster, there’s a decent chance they learn why multiple teams have tossed Dobbs off the roster. The fumbles are deadly and often end young quarterbacks’ careers. In his brief career, the new Vikings signal-caller has accrued 12 touchdown passes and 15 fumbles. Anytime that split is upside-down, the player doesn’t last long in the pros, at least not in the modern era.

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Dobbs has started 10 games since 2017, not including Sunday’s game at Atlanta because that wasn’t technically a “start.” In 10 starts, he’s fumbled 12 times. Here’s how that compares to others in recent NFL history.

Most Fumbles,
by QB in First 10 Career Starts,
Last 20 Years:

Daniel Jones — 15
Alex Smith — 13
Josh Dobbs — 12
Jay Cutler — 12
Justin Fields — 11
Josh Johnson — 11
Gardner Minshew — 11
J.T. O’Sullivan — 11
Andrew Walter — 11

And, yes, this is the same Vikings squad beset by a fumbling epidemic through the season’s first five games and the primary rationale the club sank to 1-4 out of the gate. In short, Minnesota is a team prone to fumbling woes — this season, anyway — that now employs a fumble-happy QB1.

falcons tilt
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Thankfully for the Vikings sake, the coaching staff has mostly solved the turnover malady, flipping the turnover differential in Weeks 1 to 5 from -9 to +4 in Weeks 6 through 9. There is precedent for the solution.

Overall, you might watch the next handful of Vikings games with Dobbs balling out and wonder, “Why didn’t anybody want this guy?”

It’s the fumbles.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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