On Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings took swift action to address their quarterback situation after Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury. They named rookie Jaren Hall as their starter for at least one week and secured the services of veteran Joshua Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals as a probable backup.
Pending Dobbs passing a physical examination, the Vikings will acquire him along with a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft in exchange for their 2024 sixth-round pick. The conditional pick’s value could be upgraded to a sixth-round selection based on Dobbs’ playing time, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
This series of moves came in response to a whirlwind 48 hours of deliberation among team officials who explored various short-term and long-term strategies to fill the quarterback void left by Cousins. Ultimately, they opted for an immediate approach, aiming to have “multiple guys that we feel we can go out and win with,” according to Coach Kevin O’Connell.
O’Connell expressed hope that Jaren Hall would perform well in the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons, laying a strong foundation for the future. He emphasized the need to prepare Joshua Dobbs thoroughly, not just as a backup but to evaluate the best strategy for future wins.
Cousins’ injury had left the Vikings with limited options, as veteran backup Nick Mullens was on the injured reserve due to a back ailment. The only other available quarterback was Sean Mannion, who joined the practice squad when Mullens got injured. However, the Vikings are determined to compete for a playoff spot with a 4-4 record and felt that a better alternative to Mannion was necessary.
Joshua Dobbs had been the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals in their first eight games, amassing 1,569 passing yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. This move to Minnesota gave him a fresh opportunity, and the Cardinals acknowledged his contributions.
Coach O’Connell had mentioned the possibility of acquiring a more prominent quarterback earlier, as part of their dual strategy of remaining competitive while rebuilding the team. Although Dobbs may not be a long-term solution, his acquisition did not exhaust the resources the Vikings plan to use for building their team in 2024 and beyond.
Kirk Cousins, who is set to become a free agent, may still be in the Vikings’ future plans despite his injury. O’Connell expressed a desire to work out a deal with Cousins this spring, emphasizing the importance of his high-level performance and the challenges they face without him.
Cousins sustained his injury during the Vikings’ victory over the Green Bay Packers, and Jaren Hall stepped in briefly. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are planning to start rookie Clayton Tune in their upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns, as announced by Coach Jonathan Gannon. There’s also a possibility that Kyler Murray could return to the field as he continues his recovery from ACL surgery, but the timing will be determined by the Cardinals and not necessarily based on the opponent they face. Murray’s 21-day practice window will close shortly before their game against the Falcons.