Could Michael Penix Jr. start week one for the Atlanta Falcons?

NFL Combine
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The only path that Michael Penix Jr. has into this year's lineup is injuries or if Kirk Cousins isn't ready to go in week one. Looking at the timetable of Kirk's recovery and the fact he is already throwing with Atlanta receivers it is very doubtful he won't be ready for week one. Penix Jr. is likely going to be sitting on the bench with the veteran understanding the importance of being ready for week one.

While being cautious and starting Taylor Heinicke if Cousins needed extra time was on the table there should be no question now that Cousins is going to be ready for week one. Throwing with Atlanta's receivers is far from being ready for full contact but it is an important step.

Part of being ready for week one is the obvious if not wanting Penix Jr. to have a chance to win over the fanbase. The second part is the fact that this season is of extreme importance to the front office and head coach.

You can't afford to put a rookie quarterback out there for the first game of the season if at all possible. Kirk Cousins might be offended by Atlanta's move at the position but the quarterback remains the starter and focus of the offense for at least the next two years.

That isn't going to change based not on his play or value to the team but what the contract demands. Cousins cannot be cut or traded for at least two years without taking a huge cap hit that damages your roster. It is far more responsible for Atlanta to simply sit back and let Penix learn behind Cousins over the next two years before starting to weigh their options.

Kirk Cousins is this team's QB1 and that isn't going to change no matter his level of play. Atlanta has given him a contract that provides security for at least the next two seasons.