When will Kirk Cousins play for the Falcons? What we know about Atlanta QB’s status in 2024 after Achilles tear

Kirk Cousins is off to Atlanta.

The 35-year old quarterback has long been one of football’s more productive players at his position. He’ll aim to recreate such consistency in new pastures, as Cousins and the Falcons agreed to a mammoth four-year, $180 million contract Monday. The deal spells an end to Cousins’ six-year tenure in Minnesota.

Cousins’ arrival in Atlanta offers the Falcons something they haven’t had since Matt Ryan’s departure — a trusted option under center. There’s but one issue: Cousins isn’t actually healthy.

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Cousins was felled by an Achilles tear during the Vikings’ Week 8 clash with the Packers on Oct. 29. His recovery is reportedly ahead of schedule, but the date of his return to the field remains shrouded in a bit of mystery.

When can Falcons fans expect to see the four-time Pro Bowler in red and black? Here’s what you need to know about Cousins’ injury recovery timeline ahead of the 2024 NFL season.

Kirk Cousins Achilles injury

Cousins was on pace for another impressive campaign in 2023, racking up 2,331 yards and 18 touchdowns to just five interceptions while completing 69.5% of his pass attempts through Minnesota’s first eight games.

But his season came to an unceremonious end during the Vikings’ Week 8 duel with Green Bay. Cousins crumbled to the turf while attempting to evade the Packers’ pass rush early in the fourth quarter. An MRI scan revealed Cousins had torn his Achilles, and he was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Cousins underwent surgery on Nov. 1 to address the injury. He did not receive the same operation as Jets star Aaron Rodgers, as there was enough tendon beneath his tear for surgeons to suture the two halves of the tendon back together. Rodgers had to have an internal brace inserted into his heel bone.

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Kirk Cousins injury history

Cousins has stayed fairly healthy over his career, taking part in at least 15 games in eight straight years before 2023. He hadn’t even undergone a surgical procedure before suffering his Achilles tear. And although he has plenty of mileage on his legs, he’s tended to be durable.

Whether that will continue after an injury as devastating as an Achilles tear remains to be seen.

When will Kirk Cousins play for the Falcons?

Cousins appears to be on pace for a full recovery by the start of the 2024 season. Despite not undergoing the same “speed bridge” operation as Rodgers, Cousins told reporters that his surgeons deemed his operation to be better in the long-term than that of Rodgers.

Cousins has repeatedly reiterated that his goal is to be back on the field come the start of OTAs. That would put his recovery around May, about six months after he first suffered his injury.

Speaking on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Feb. 8, Cousins indicated that he had about “four months to go” in his recovery timeline.

“When I heard it, I knew 2023 was over,” Cousins said. “But also I knew, timing-wise, unlike Aaron, I had plenty of time to get ready for 2024. So my hope is to get back fast enough to where I can be a part of OTAs, be a part of mini-camp.”

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