Vikings Coach Delivers Bracing Message to Josh Dobbs After Benchiing: “Step Up or Sit Down”


Nearly three hours into a scoreless struggle with the Las Vegas Raiders, Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell made the call to bench quarterback Josh Dobbs. The journeyman veteran who won over the hearts of the Vikings fan base and the locker room by winning his first two games couldn’t shake off a recent slump coming out of the bye week. He completed 10 of 23 passes for 63 yards and was sacked five times.

The Decision to Bench Dobbs

In a critical moment during the game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Kevin O’Connell didn’t hesitate to make the difficult decision to bench quarterback Josh Dobbs. Despite Dobbs’ initial success with the team, his recent performance, particularly coming out of the bye week, had been less than stellar. Completing only 10 of 23 passes for 63 yards and falling victim to five sacks, the Vikings had to make a change in the quarterback position. As a result, Nick Mullens took over for the Vikings’ final two drives, ultimately leading them to a 3-0 victory. O’Connell, while noncommittal to any quarterback after the game, stated that it was a tough call to bench Dobbs and that he would “take a look” at the quarterback position.

Justin Jefferson’s Injury

Star wide receiver Justin Jefferson made his much-anticipated return to the field after suffering a hamstring injury in Week 5. However, his comeback was short-lived as he took a hard hit from Raiders safety Marcus Epps, leading him to leave the game and be rushed to a Las Vegas-area hospital with a declared chest injury. Despite initial concerns, O’Connell clarified in his postgame news conference that Jefferson was cleared of any injury that would hinder his ability to travel home with the team. However, Jefferson’s status for the next game against the Cincinnati Bengals remains questionable due to his recent injury.

The Toll of Injuries

The Vikings offense suffered a string of injuries during their game against the Raiders, significantly impacting their effectiveness. Right guard Ed Ingram and right tackle Brian O’Neill were unable to finish the game due to injuries, with O’Neill suffering a left ankle sprain and Ingram being ruled out before the game. Moreover, starting running back Alexander Mattison sustained a right ankle sprain in the second half and did not return to the game, further depleting the team’s offensive capabilities. Wide receiver Jalen Nailor is also in concussion protocol after the game, making his availability for the next matchup uncertain. These injuries have added to the Vikings’ existing list of players on the injured reserve, including essential players such as quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Cam Akers, and edge rusher Marcus Davenport.

Final Thoughts

As the Minnesota Vikings managed to secure a crucial 3-0 victory against the Las Vegas Raiders, the game was not without its challenges. The decision to bench quarterback Josh Dobbs and the injury concerns surrounding star wide receiver Justin Jefferson have raised questions as the team moves forward. Additionally, the toll of injuries suffered by key players during the game has further complicated the Vikings’ path towards the postseason. With an uncertain quarterback situation and ongoing injuries, the Vikings will need to regroup and re-evaluate their strategy as they prepare for the next matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.


Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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