Joshua Dobbs only had five days to learn the Minnesota Vikings playbook after arriving from the Arizona Cardinals and still managed to debut with a victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Week 9 of the 2023 NFL season.
Dobbs, 28, joined the Vikings less than 48 hours after quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending ACL injury. His trade from Arizona happened so quickly he did not even know the names of those in the huddle against Atlanta.
Vikings rookie QB Jaren Hall, who made his first NFL career start, was sidelined in the first quarter, making way for Dobbs to debut for Minnesota.
Even though Dobbs initially struggled to settle into head coach Kevin O’Connell‘s offense, he found wide receiver Brandon Powell in the end zone to complete the comeback with 22 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter.
He finished the contest with 158 passing yards and two touchdown passes on 20-for-30 completions, plus 66 rushing yards and a TD on seven scrambles.
Joshua Dobbs is literally a rocket scientist
Dobbs is known for being one of the smartest players in the league. He is literally a rocket scientist and O’Connell was blown away by his intelligence.
“I know he’s very, very smart, but I can tell you that what he was able to do in really five days time was as impressive of what I’ve seen a quarterback do,” O’Connell said.
Dobbs, meanwhile, compared having to learn the plays on the fly to taking a test in Spanish class, but the questions are written in French.
“It’s like if you were taking Spanish all year and you showed up and Wednesday somebody told you – you’re taking AP Spanish – and somebody told you you’ve got an AP French exam on Sunday,” Dobbs explained. “Someone’s going to talk to you in Spanish and translate it to the French, so that’s kind of what was going on out there.
“There was a lot of communication, but I’m able to process a lot of information and be able to react on it and not let it handcuff myself and my play so it was good. It was good to be able to hear what [O’Connell] was saying and as I’m processing what the defense is giving me and then go out and just play good football.”