Vikings QB Joshua Dobbs reflects on rollercoaster 2023 season

Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings congratulates Joshua Dobbs #15 of the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images))

For about two weeks, the Twin Cities was consumed by "Dobbs Mania" when the Minnesota Vikings made the move to acquire Joshua Dobbs.

Kirk Cousins went down for the season in the fourth quarter of the Vikings’ Week 8 win over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. With Nick Mullens on injured reserve, there was no backup option behind rookie Jaren Hall. That led to a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to acquire Dobbs, who was benched in favor of Clayton Tune after eight starts, before Kyler Murray eventually returned.

After five days with the team, Dobbs got thrust into action when Hall went down with a concussion at Atlanta. Barely knowing the playbook, Dobbs accounted for 224 total yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 victory over the Falcons. The following week against the Saints, he had 312 total yards and two touchdowns in a 27-19 victory.

He’d prefer to start and have a full week of practice, but he did what the Vikings asked him to do in a tough spot.

"That feat is definitely something that I don’t take for granted, but I’d rather have it the first way. That’s something that I’ll look for as I’m looking at the opportunities for next year, what gives me the most consistent chance to play consistent football," Dobbs said Monday. "Either way, the amount of support I got here from teammates, coaches, personnel, front office, fans, watching everyone at the Denver game dressed up as astronaut costumes was unbelievable. Whatever the future holds, I really enjoyed my time here and playing for the Vikings. I’ll be excited to see what opportunities come from this."

Dobbs will be a free agent in March, and is hoping his 2023 season will get him his next job. He made a career-high 12 starts, but won just three games as a starter and finished with 2,464 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran for 421 yards and six touchdowns between the Cardinals and Vikings.

He got a shout-out from NASA during the season, and got the nickname "Passtronaut." Vikings’ fans showed up for a night game in Denver with astronaut outfits. But Dobbs also struggled with turnovers, threw four interceptions against the Chicago Bears and got benched in the fourth quarter at Las Vegas.

"What I do on the field doesn’t define the person I am. As has been well-documented, I’ve logged interest off the field but I also understand the power of football and the power of the sport we all love and we are care about. I also understand my identity isn’t in that," Dobbs said. "Definitely was a mentally taxing season, a little bit of a rollercoaster, but I have a lot of confidence in myself and I’ll be excited to see what the future holds."

It's unknown what the future holds for Dobbs, but it’s likely not in Minnesota. His time with the Vikings might garner interest from another team, and he’s thankful for that.

"It’s crazy how fast it’s taken away from you. When free agency comes, it will come and the opportunities will be there. Just thankful for the opportunity I had here in Minnesota," Dobbs said.