When will Michael Penix most likely make his Falcons debut?

NFL: MAR 01 Scouting Combine

Whether Raheem Morris and Terry Fontenot like it or not, the Falcons could have a quarterback controversy as early as the first month of the season. Hell, it could be here this offseason if Kirk Cousins is on the sideline while Michael Penix spins the rock at Flowery Branch.

I’m not even sure what the ideal timeline would look like for Atlanta. The only thing I do know is the Falcons want a successful transition from the veteran to the southpaw.

But is that after the first year? The Falcons will take on a ton of dead money from Cousins, but they’ll able to somewhat take advantage of Penix’s rookie contract. Is it after the second year? They’ll take on less dead money, and Penix will have sat for two seasons learning behind a hell of a quarterback in Kirk Cousins.

There doesn’t seem to be an obvious ‘ideal’ timeline for the Falcons here, so what’s the most likely timeline for Michael Penix? When is it realistic to expect to see the Falcons top pick make his regular season debut?

Bleacher Report believes it could be as early as this season.

Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons just signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal this offseason. Penix will only start if the 35-year-old gets injured or if the team’s Week 18 meeting with the Carolina Panthers has no playoff implications.

So, let’s play this game of when will Michael Penix make his regular season debut for the Falcons.

The first rule is that injuries do not count. Guessing when/if Kirk Cousins goes down with an injury isn’t something I’d like to do. However, thinking realistically, I could see Penix getting some burn in the later weeks of the season if the Falcons have secured the NFC South.

Atlanta will face Carolina, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans five times before their Bye Week. If the Falcons lock up the division, there’s a chance that we see Michael Penix in the last couple of games.

I don’t think the Falcons will seriously consider a switch at quarterback until they believe Penix legitimately gives the team a similar chance at winning football games as Kirk Cousins, but I also believe a rookie season debut is still in the realm of possibilities at the end of the season.

Photographer: Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

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