Josh Dobbs pulled off the unlikely with the Vikings on Sunday. He started the week as a member of the Arizona Cardinals. Still, after the team traded him to Minnesota, Dobbs got a chance to fill in for veteran Kirk Cousins, who suffered a season-ending torn Achilles. Rookie Jaren Hall started, but once he suffered a concussion and was out of the game, Dobbs had to enter into the game on just four days with the team’s playbook. But it was his time with the Steelers that led him to become prepared for this moment.
Dobbs finished the game 20 of 30 for 158 yards and two touchdowns through the air while adding seven carries for 66 yards and a touchdown in relief of Hall. Leading a game-winning drive down the field, Dobbs found Brandon Powell for a six-yard touchdown pass to give them the win.
Before heading to the Vikings, Dobbs started eight games in Arizona. In eight games, Dobbs is 167 for 266, completing 62.8% of his passes for 1,569 yards — a 5.9 yards per attempt average. He has thrown eight touchdowns and five interceptions and has an 81.2 passer rating. He ranked 19th with a QBR of 46.6, just behind Joe Burrow. Yet, he played arguably his best game of the season on Sunday. His credit? Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Steelers.
“In this league, there’s never an excuse for your circumstance,” Dobbs said. “I learned that from Coach T, usually, people don’t care about your circumstance. They just want to see you succeed, given the circumstance you’re given. I’ve been in similar situations backing up Ben where he goes down, but he gets back up. Your heart drops for a second while you’re warming up. But when they said it was my ball, my job was just to go out there and play good football.”
The former Steelers quarterback did all he could do for the Vikings with just four days in the playbook. That’s mighty impressive, but it’s not a surprise given how smart Dobbs is, showcasing his ability to learn a playbook and play at a high level quickly.
Dobbs was the Steelers’ fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Tennessee and spent most of the next five seasons as the Steelers’ third-string quarterback.
He spent all of 2017 as the third-stringer behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones, and then backed up Roethlisberger in 2018, playing in five games of relief. He completed six of 12 passes for 43 yards.