In response to Kirk Cousins’ season-ending Achilles injury, the Minnesota Vikings made strategic moves ahead of the NFL trade deadline. To bolster their quarterback depth, the Vikings acquired Josh Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals, relinquishing a 2024 sixth-round pick and receiving Dobbs along with a seventh-round pick in return. The urgency arose as Cousins was placed on injured reserve due to the Achilles injury, prompting the Vikings to secure a quarterback who could potentially lead the team for the remainder of the season.
Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell emphasized the team’s meticulous evaluation process, aiming to fortify the quarterback room and provide the best chance for continued success. Dobbs, in his seventh NFL season, had already showcased his capabilities by starting eight games for the Cardinals during Kyler Murray’s absence. In these starts, Dobbs exhibited a 62.8% completion rate, accumulating 1,569 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. The quarterback, a former fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, adds veteran experience and mobility to the Vikings’ roster.
Despite Cousins’ impressive performance—ranking second in NFL passing yards and tied for the league lead with 18 touchdowns—the Vikings, with a 4-4 record, sought immediate solutions to maintain their positive momentum. O’Connell expressed confidence in Dobbs’ ability to contribute positively, citing his experience in facing top-tier defenses.
With the intention of easing Dobbs into the team and playbook, the Vikings plan to start rookie Jaren Hall in the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hall, a fifth-round pick from BYU, will take the lead while Dobbs acclimates, with the possibility of Dobbs playing a supporting role.
In a parallel move, the Vikings traded left guard Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick. Cleveland, a second-round pick in 2020, quickly assumed a starting role in his rookie season and amassed 49 starts in three-plus NFL seasons. However, the Vikings’ decision to trade Cleveland likely designates Dalton Risner as the starting left guard for the remainder of the season.
So after losing Kirk Cousins to a torn Achilles, Minnesota brings in Dobbs, who started the first eight games for Arizona. Options in the QB room alongside rookie Jaren Hall. pic.twitter.com/wW5lkX1PVg
Meanwhile, star edge rusher Danielle Hunter, the subject of trade rumors, remains with the Vikings as the 3 p.m. trade deadline passed. Hunter, leading the NFL with 10 sacks in eight games, is eligible to become a free agent next offseason, heightening speculation about his future contract negotiations and potential pursuit of a substantial payday.
In summary, the Vikings’ strategic moves involving Dobbs and Cleveland aim to address immediate needs in the wake of Cousins’ injury while positioning the team for continued success in the current season and beyond.