On Nov. 28 the Cleveland Browns waived former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs to make room for recently-reinstated QB Deshaun Watson, the latter coming off an 11-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Sympathetic observers hoped to see Dobbs get claimed on waivers, but when that didn’t happen the former 4th-round pick went in search of a new job.
Josh Dobbs Visited the Mile High City, the Motor City
First, he had a tryout with the Broncos — as per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network — but left Denver without a contract. Then he visited Detroit on Dec. 3, which resulted in an offer to join the Lions practice squad, a roster move that was formally announced by the team on the afternoon of Dec. 5.
Dobbs, 27, will serve as Detroit’s third quarterback, behind starter Jared Goff and backup Nate Sudfeld.
The job became available on Nov. 30 after the Chicago Bears signed Tim Boyle off Detroit’s practice squad.
Notably, the Lions moved quickly in the wake of Dobbs’ visit, perhaps because the Broncos still had “interest” in the University of Tennessee product, as per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver.
Josh Dobbs’ 2nd Career Postponed, Again
By signing with the Lions, Dobbs can continue to postpone the start of his next career, which figures to involve some aspect of aerospace engineering, which he studied while playing quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers (2013-16). Since getting drafted by the Steelers No. 135 overall in 2017, he has completed a pair of externships at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Meanwhile, he gets a chance to continue his NFL journey, which has taken him to five different cities. After spending the first two seasons of his NFL career in Pittsburgh, the Steelers traded Dobbs to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 5th-round pick in 2019.
Pittsburgh got him back a year later, re-signing him in Sept. 2020 shortly after he was released by Jacksonville. Dobbs spent all of the 2021 campaign on Pittsburgh’s injured reserve list after suffering a turf toe injury in the team’s preseason finale.
As for his career numbers, Dobbs appeared in a total of six games during the four years he spent in Pittsburgh, with most of his action coming in 2018, the only year he served as Ben Roethlisberger’s primary backup.
During those half-dozen regular-season appearances, Dobbs completed 10 of 17 passes for 45 yards with one interception, as per Pro Football Reference (PFR).
Notably, at least one Steelers insider believes that Dobbs might return to Pittsburgh in 2023, as the team figures to be in the market for a veteran backup, thanks to an anticipated offseason “quarterback shakeup.” More than likely, the so-called shakeup will lead to the departure of former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky and longtime Steelers backup Mason Rudolph, who is a pending unrestricted free agent.
Such a development would leave the Steelers in need of No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 QBs to play behind 2022 1st-round pick Kenny Pickett, who has raised his record as a starter to 4-4 and upped his passer rating to 75.1, according to PFR.
The Steelers (5-7) return to action on Dec. 11 when they host the Baltimore Ravens (8-4) at Acrisure Stadium.