What Happened to Joshua Dobbs? Vikings QB Benched for Nick Mullens After Recent Struggles

Joshua Dobbs took the NFL by storm early last month, but some recent struggles have led the Vikings to turn to Nick Mullens as the starting QB.

Journeyman QB Joshua Dobbs took the NFL by storm earlier this season when he burst onto the scene for the Minnesota Vikings just days after being traded to the franchise by the Arizona Cardinals. Now, the magic has worn off, culminating in Dobbs being benched during Sunday’s 3-0 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Joshua Dobbs Benched Amid Struggles

Dobbs took the NFL by storm in early November, as he was acquired by Minnesota at the trade deadline following QB Kirk Cousins’ season-ending injury the week prior.

The Vikings initially trotted rookie QB Jaren Hall out to start their Nov. 5 game against the Atlanta Falcons, but some early struggles by Hall, along with an injury, forced Dobbs into action just days after joining the team. He responded by going 20-of-30 passing for 158 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 66 yards and another score.

Thus, the so-called “Passtronaut” began an inspired, yet short-lived run as Minnesota’s starting quarterback.

Dobbs went off again in a 27-19 Week 10 win over the New Orleans Saints, completing 23 of 34 pass attempts for 268 yards and one touchdown and running for 44 yards and another score.

Some struggle crept in after that point, however, as Minnesota lost its next two games 21-20 to the Denver Broncos and 12-10 to the Chicago Bears, lengthening their playoff odds.

Dobbs was solid in the narrow loss to Denver, going 20-of-32 passing for 221 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, along with eight carries for 21 yards and another score. He struggled against the Bears, however, going 22-of-32 passing for 185 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions.

Those struggles bled over into the Vikings’ narrow win over the Raiders, leading to Dobbs being benched during the contest in favor of veteran backup QB Nick Mullens. Dobbs completed 10 of 23 passes for 63 yards while taking five sacks during his stint. Mullens finished 9-of-13 passing for 83 yards and no sacks.

MORE: Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart

Minnesota HC Kevin O’Connell has since named Mullens the team’s starting quarterback for Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, while he said a decision has not been made on whether Dobbs or Hall will be the backup. He did say both players will suit up for the game.

“I do believe Nick Mullens gives us the best chance to win the football game this Saturday, and that’s the decision we made,” O’Connell told reporters.

It will be Mullens’ second appearance of the season after debuting last week. He has made a total of 25 career appearances in the NFL, including 16 starts during his time with the San Francisco 49ers after signing with the franchise as an undrafted free agent out of college.

O’Connell felt Mullens was able to bring Minnesota’s offense some rhythm after coming in for Dobbs over the weekend.

“I really thought he came into the game the other day and demonstrated his ability to prepare, come in, play in rhythm, be accurate with the ball, make great decisions,” O’Connell said. “And I think, with where we are as an offense right now, it’s about our execution with all 11 guys.”

The Vikings (7-6) will hope Mullens can do so again on Saturday when they travel to take on the Jake Browning-led Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) in a key clash for both teams’ playoff hopes.

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