4 Players the Atlanta Falcons can't afford to lose to injury in 2024

Washington Commanders v Atlanta Falcons
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2. Kirk Cousins

If Kirk Cousins suffers an injury this season Atlanta's hope of contending for a division title and playoff spot is over. Yes, Michael Penix Jr. is an exciting prospect but there is a reason that Penix was still on the board after three quarterbacks were selected in front of the former Washington quarterback.

The margin for error is thin between the Bucs or Falcons winning the division the ceiling of both teams is 11 wins with 9-10 win seasons being the most likely outcome for both. If the Falcons are forced to put a rookie quarterback into the lineup the season is all but over.

This isn't to say Penix can't be a franchise quarterback or be a long-term answer. However, rookie quarterbacks need time to adjust and Atlanta doesn't have a good enough roster to be a playoff team without Cousins.

Kirk Cousins is the best quarterback in this division and the reason many are picking the Falcons to finish the year atop the South. An injury would force Penix into the lineup and change the conversation from Atlanta competing for a playoff spot to what the team will do at quarterback moving into the end of the year and next season.