Joshua Dobbs will start the team's Week 10 game against the New Orleans Saints, coach Kevin O'Connell said, with veteran Sean Mannion as the likeliest backup. Rookie Jaren Hall, whose first-quarter concussion Sunday opened the door for Dobbs to play just five days after the Vikings acquired him, is in concussion protocol.
And after spending last week preparing Hall for his first career start, while at the same time assimilating Dobbs into the offensive scheme, O'Connell said it was highly unlikely the team would try to sign another new quarterback this week. Mannion is on the practice squad and would have to be elevated to the active roster in order to be eligible to play against the Saints.
O'Connell joked that the only new quarterback the Vikings would consider adding is himself -- he was a 2008 third-round draft choice of the New England Patriots -- given "the amount of time and energy we'll now put into making sure Josh is ready to roll."
Dobbs lost two fumbles and was sacked for a safety in his first four possessions against the Falcons but ultimately accounted for three touchdowns and 224 yards from scrimmage, including a game-winning 6-yard touchdown pass to receiver Brandon Powell with 22 seconds remaining.
"I thought what he did was remarkable," O'Connell said, "but there's a lot of things that we'll coach him through and get him a little bit more comfortable in what we do."
Dobbs, who majored in aerospace engineering at the University of Tennessee and has done two externships with NASA during his NFL career, was congratulated on social media by NASA's Glenn Research Center on Monday.
The Vikings are also making sure that Dobbs can find his jersey in the team store. In September, when he was with the Arizona Cardinals, he posted on social media that he couldn't find his jersey at the team's store. Dobbs' video went viral, prompting a quick response by the Cardinals to rectify the issue.
Monday, 11:30 a.m. CT.— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) November 6, 2023
Scott Sandstrom, assistant manager of the Vikings Locker Room store in Eagan, is making a batch of Josh Dobbs jerseys as we speak.
Dobbs might have had a hard time finding his jersey in Arizona, but that won't happen here. @ScottVikings pic.twitter.com/D5M4RZxd3n
The Vikings acquired Dobbs from the Cardinals after losing starter Kirk Cousins to a torn right Achilles tendon and facing at least one more week without backup Nick Mullens, who is on injured reserve because of a back injury and became eligible Monday to have his 21-day practice window opened. O'Connell said Monday that Mullens is "progressing really well" but that there is no timetable yet for getting him back on the field.
Like Mullens, receiver Justin Jefferson (hamstring) became eligible Monday to return from injured reserve. O'Connell said "it's possible" the Vikings will open his practice widow Wednesday but made no firm commitment.
"We're going to do what's best for Justin," O'Connell said, "and make sure we're doing everything responsibly to make sure that when Justin does return, he can be the Justin Jefferson we all know and expect to see out there."