Falcons QB Cousins remains on track in recovery from torn right Achilles as team approaches minicamp


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins' recovery from a torn Achilles tendon remains on track as the team approaches next week's mandatory minicamp.

Coach Raheem Morris said Monday he can't ask Cousins to do more in the minicamp because “he’s done almost everything” in the organized team activities. Cousins was again on the field for Monday's launch of the final week of OTAs.

Rookie Michael Penix Jr. continues to learn under Cousins, 35, who suffered the torn right Achilles tendon in the 2023 season with the Minnesota Vikings.

“He’s done just about everything that you can potentially do, and I just see him doing it more and more as we keep going,” said Morris of Cousins. “It’s been nice to see him just get healthy.”

Cousins said “the positive part for me has been getting the reps” through the offseason program. He said he initially was told he wouldn't have practice reps in the OTAs.

“I was planning on basically getting my first practice rep in late July, and I’ve gotten basically every practice rep," Cousins said.

Despite feeling he is ahead of his original rehabilitation schedule, he still won't push his recovery to practice at full speed.

“I want it to be today but you’ve just got to let your body tell you when,” Cousins said. “I’ll be able to feel when the strength is there fully and you’re not feeling anything in your ankle and Achilles.”

Cousins signed a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed in March. The Falcons' selection of Penix as the No. 8 overall pick in the NFL draft was a surprise after the major financial commitment to Cousins.

Even when continuing his recovery, Cousins' role as the unquestioned starter has been clear in the offseason workouts. Starting left tackle Jake Matthews said Monday he hasn't taken a snap with Penix at quarterback.

Morris acknowledged Cousins is officially listed as limited. When asked when he wants to see Cousins given full clearance, Morris asked “What’s the date of our first game?”

The Falcons open their regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Atlanta on Sept. 8.

“When we line up against Pittsburgh and get ready to go play I want him to feel as close to 100% as possible,” Morris said.

Running back Bijan Robinson moved closer to full clearance for minicamp and training camp when he returned to practice on Monday from what he described as a “light sprain” to his left ankle.

“Being back out there with the guys and feeling really good, it was a great feeling,” Robinson said. “I didn’t hold back anything.”