Which quarterback returning from injury can you count on the most? [2024]

Here’s a look at six quarterbacks returning from injury and how confident we should be in each one this upcoming season.

Every year, there are injuries that manage to take out some of the top players at each position. Hopefully, you’ve had a backup plan in those instances, but that’s beside the point.

Ranking those players the following season becomes a challenge as you try to figure out which ones will be the most reliable returning from injury.

Here’s a look at six quarterbacks coming back from an injury and how confident you should be in selecting them.

Joe Burrow, QB/Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow seems like the most obvious choice when answering which quarterback returning from injury can you count on the most. He might not have the highest projected ceiling (that honor goes to our next player), but his combination of ceiling plus floor makes him the safest bet. Burrow still has one of the most talented receiving duos in the league and he has performed at the highest level since entering the league — when healthy, of course. And that remains the only major hurdle for him. Can he stay healthy behind an offensive line that has had holes since Burrow came into the league?

Anthony Richardson, QB/Indianapolis Colts

Richardson is the quarterback with the highest ceiling on this list due to his incredibly athletic profile. But he’s also the one who could be the biggest bust among the group if he simply can’t stay healthy from taking too many shots. I’m not so pessimistic that I’m going to avoid taking chances on Richardson in fantasy drafts. Just make sure your team is built to withstand another possible injury. If he stays healthy, it’s hard to envision a scenario where he’s not at least a mid-tier QB1.

Aaron Rodgers, QB/New York Jets

Seeing Rodgers limp a bit at recent offseason workouts has given me a little pause with my high expectations for his possible rebound season. The guy is on the wrong side of 40, and while Tom Brady was able to play the position effectively at that age, most quarterbacks have not been able to. I wouldn’t take Rodgers as anything more than a backup, but do know that his ability combined with the Jets’ playmakers gives him the possibility to have some incredible spike weeks depending on matchup.

Kirk Cousins, QB/Atlanta Falcons

Cousins was on pace for a heckuva finish last year before he suffered an Achilles injury and was lost for the season. He heads to Atlanta where he may not have arguably the best receiver in the game, but he does have an incredible array of weapons in Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson. Cousins is 35 and presumably has a number of good seasons left in him if he manages to stay healthy and hold off rookie Michael Penix for the foreseeable future. At the very least, 2024 is his season in Atlanta and there’s every reason to believe, short of injury, that he’s destined to have a great rebound season.

Kyler Murray, QB/Arizona Cardinals

Kyler isn’t quite “returning” from an injury as he played the latter half of the 2023 season. But, given that he was recovering from an injury he sustained the previous season, he did not have quite the season he is capable of having. After missing the first nine games, it took him a while to ramp up. Now that he’s another year removed from the ACL and the team added Marvin Harrison Jr. to the mix, things are looking up for the 5-year vet. Murray’s dual threat ability, presuming he still has it, gives him a QB1 ceiling.

Deshaun Watson, QB/Cleveland Browns

Watson has fallen precipitously from grace since breaking out in a big way in his first four seasons with the Texans. He’s only played in six games in each of the past two years and some are clinging to the hope that he can rekindle the production he once had. I’m not going to hold my breath, though. He has some talented receivers around him and a defense that ought to keep him on the field regularly. He might be able to creep into QB1 territory if all goes right for him, but he’s definitely a buy-low option for whom you better have a contingency plan in place.