Kevin O’Connell considered benching Josh Dobbs, doesn’t commit to him post-bye
It was fun while it lasted. And, by Week 14, it could be over.
After Monday night’s 12-10 loss by the Vikings, which featured four interceptions from feel-good-gone-bad quarterback Josh Dobbs, Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell did not commit to keeping Dobbs under center after the team’s bye.
“We’re going to take a look and really evaluate the inventory of plays now we have of Josh,” O’Connell told reporters. “We got healthy. We got Jaren [Hall] back, you know, available to us and then Nick Mullens is available as well.”
Mullens was available on Monday night as the backup. And it sounds as if O’Connell was indeed considering giving him a shot.
“We definitely, you know, had started to get to the point where I was just trying to think almost what would give us a spark,” O’Connell said in response to the question of whether he considered putting Mullens in the game. “As much as the turnovers absolutely cripple you offensively, I still thought Josh battled, no flinch, and just kept playing and competing to try help us win.”
Dobbs did lead a touchdown drive when it mattered most, giving the Vikings a 10-9 lead in the fourth quarter. But the offense turned far too conservative when it could have slammed the door on the Bears after a Justin Fields fumble, surely due to the multiple mistakes Dobbs had previously made.
Although the glass can be characterized as half full, it feels as if it’s half empty, thanks to a pair of prime-time losses fueled by an offense that just isn’t getting it done.
“I think what Josh Dobbs has really done coming in here on short notice and really going 2-2 in a stretch where, you know, a lot of people might have thought, Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson being out, you know, the deck’s stacked against us,” O’Connell said. “That’s not the way this team thinks. It’s not the way we operate. It’s not the way I operate. We’re trying to go out and win every football game we play. We’re gonna evaluate what we’ve been able to do, things we need to get better at, and we’ll take a look at what that looks like.”
The team already has battled back, from starts of both 0-3 and 1-4. But with Thanksgiving being the unofficial moment where pretenders and contenders go their separate ways, the Vikings are landing in the wrong category.
They still have five opportunities, and Jefferson should be back for road games at Las Vegas and Cincinnati.