Chase Young

Latest On Commanders DE Chase Young

DECEMBER 4: Young is inactive for Sunday’s divisional battle with the Giants, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports (via Twitter) that the Commanders plan to have the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year back on the field when they meet up with Big Blue again in Week 15 (after their Week 14 bye).

NOVEMBER 27: Washington’s defensive line will have to wait at least another week to be 100% as defensive end Chase Young‘s 2022 debut has been pushed at least another week, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. This will be the Commanders’ 20th-straight game without the former second-overall pick.

It has taken a full calendar year for Young to work his way back from the ACL tear that ended his sophomore season. He’s been slowly but surely making progress, leading the Commanders to activate him from the physically unable to perform list earlier this week.

This week had reportedly been the first that Young was looking the way they’ve wanted him to post-recovery, according to ESPN’s John Keim. He likely was on track to make his season debut this week, but it appears an illness will hold him out of play for at least one more week. A few other players reportedly caught the bug lately, but the good news is that it wasn’t his physical ability that held him off the field today.

The Commanders pass rush has done perfectly fine without him but adding him back to the starting lineup could give Washington one of the top pass rushing defensive lines in the league. Coming into today’s game, defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne led the team with 6.5 sacks apiece. Defensive end Montez Sweat just trailed them with six of his own.

Young’s second year wasn’t quite as productive as his first, but if he can return to the pass rushing form of his rookie season, when he collected 7.5 sacks, the Washington pass rush will be dangerous. Young also provides production outside of sack totals. He’s extremely disruptive with 13.0 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits in his young NFL career. He’s also a bit of a ball-hawk, knocking down six passes, forcing six fumbles, and recovering three, returning one for a touchdown.

The return of Young if he is 100% will be a huge boost for the Commanders as they continue fighting to keep up with the rest of the NFC East. Unfortunately, he’ll have to wait at least one more week.

Commanders Activate DE Chase Young From PUP List

Stashed on the PUP list throughout the season, Chase Young is back on the Commanders’ 53-man roster. The team used the third of its eight allotted injury activations on Young, whose activation window was set to close Wednesday.

The third-year defensive end is not a lock to play against the Falcons in Week 12, however. Ron Rivera stopped short of indicating Young would suit up when first eligible. Dr. James Andrews has cleared Young medically, Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweets, but the Commanders will now determine if the former Defensive Rookie of the Year is in sufficient football shape to make a long-awaited return.

Practicing for the past two weeks and change, Young has been out of game action since going down with an ACL tear Nov. 14, 2021. The Commanders have slow-played the standout pass rusher’s return, and they have turned their season around in recent weeks. Young coming back could provide another boost for a team attempting to go from 1-4 to the postseason.

While Young has been eligible to come off Washington’s PUP list since Week 5, the former Heisman Trophy finalist underwent reconstructive surgery that required a graft from his left patellar tendon. That contributed to this extended timeline. This is on the long end for ACL recoveries, but given Young’s long-term importance, Washington did not try to rush him back. Buffalo has taken this approach with Tre’Davious White, who suffered a torn ACL on Thanksgiving 2021. Despite landing on the Bills’ active roster weeks ago, White has not yet made his debut. It does not sound like the Commanders plan to wait too much longer here, however.

We will work him with the intent if he’s ready to play he’ll play,” Rivera said, via ESPN.com’s John Keim. “If not, we’ll wait another week.”

It will be interesting to see how Washington deploys Young when he does return to action. The Ohio State product was a full-time player during his first and second seasons, logging 78% and 80% defensive snap rates when available those campaigns. Young, 23, may not hit those thresholds this year but could obviously help the team even if used in a part-time capacity. Young will have plenty to prove upon return. He took a step back last season, registering just 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in nine games. In 15 games as a rookie, Young posted 7.5 sacks, 14 QB hits, four forced fumbles and return touchdown.

The Commanders padded their sack totals in Week 11 against the Texans. Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen recorded two sacks apiece in Houston; each has 6.5. Daron Payne has six. None of the trio has missed a game this season, helping Washington emerge as a wild-card contender despite a poor start. Young’s replacement, James Smith-Williams, has two sacks but has contributed 12 QB hits.

Latest On Commanders DE Chase Young

This week brought the one-year anniversary of Chase Young‘s ACL tear. The Commanders have yet to move the former Defensive Rookie of the Year back onto their active roster, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that move will not transpire Saturday.

Young is not yet ready to return, and NFL.com’s James Palmer notes Commanders brass — upon seeing Young’s Monday-night warmup — could not say with certainty when the talented pass rusher would be ready to return (Twitter link). Ron Rivera said this week Young would be a game-time decision — if the Commanders had chosen to activate him by today’s deadline. With the team set to keep him off the roster for another week, that decision has been made.

The Commanders have until Wednesday to move Young from its reserve/PUP list to its 53-man roster. It is a near-lock that shift will take place, with the alternative being Young misses the entire season. The Bills have proceeded this way with Tre’Davious White, who has been on their active roster for multiple weeks despite not having played since his ACL tear. White suffered his knee injury not long after Young, who went down Nov. 14, 2021.

A report just before the season indicated moved Young’s recovery timetable to the midseason point. While Young has been eligible to come off Washington’s PUP list since Week 5, the former Heisman Trophy finalist underwent reconstructive surgery that required a graft from his left patellar tendon. That contributed to this extended timeline. It is unsurprising the team is being cautious with perhaps its highest-ceiling player, who is in his age-23 season. But this process dragging past the one-year mark is certainly notable. Considering this delay, Young may not be ready to be a full-time performer again until the 2023 season.

It is still close to a slam-dunk call the Commanders pick up Young’s fifth-year option in May, but this injury has prevented the team from benefitting from much of the Ohio State alum’s rookie contract. A Young extension being tabled until the 2024 offseason may have always been the plan, with organizations — excluding quarterbacks and select others — usually preferring to not extend first-rounders before their option years. But this injury stands to put some pressure on Young to prove himself again post-surgery.

Washington is now 5-5 but remains fourth in the NFC East, sitting behind the Eagles (8-1), Giants (7-2) and Cowboys (6-3). No division has produced four playoff teams since 1998, when the AFC East accomplished this. Granted, this was impossible from 2002-20. Young’s return would provide a boost to a Commanders team that has returned to contention, following a brief window — after a 1-4 start — in which seller’s trades were being considered. The team will continue to use Montez Sweat (four sacks) and James Smith-Williams (two) as its primary edge defenders.

Commanders Won’t Activate Chase Young For Week 10; Season Availability In Doubt?

The Commanders have been without Chase Young for exactly one calendar year, and his return will not take place tonight. Washington is not activating the edge rusher from the PUP list ahead of their game against the Eagles, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).

The Commanders opened Young’s three-week return window at the beginning of the month, as he returned to practice. That fell in line with their stated plan for the 2020 second overall pick, but the team remained cautious with his midweek workload. As a result, he was not activated ahead of last week’s contest.

That pointed to a return for tonight’s primetime matchup, but the Ohio State product will remain sidelined for at least one more week as he continues to recover from an ACL tear. That injury ended his sophomore campaign, one which included just 1.5 sacks through nine game – a notable drop from the 7.5 he posted the year prior en route to winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. A midseason return has been expected since August.

More worrying still, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that it is “not considered a slam dunk” Young will be activated by next week. If the Nov. 23 deadline passes without the team doing so, Young will not be eligible to return for the remainder of the season. That would mark a major blow to the team’s pass rush, of course, though they have managed to rank mid-pack so far with 23 sacks this season.

For Young individually, a full missed season would likely have financial ramifications. This coming offseason marks the first point at which he is eligible for an extension, one which appeared to be on track for one of the league’s richest after his first season in the league. Since then, however, the drop in production and significant time missed due to injury could be cause for hesitation on the team’s part to make a long-term commitment before he re-takes the field.

For at least one more week, Montez Sweat will be paired with James Smith-Williams on the edge as Washington looks to upset Philadelphia. Young’s participation in practice though the week will become increasingly worth watching as his activation deadline nears.

Commanders Designate DE Chase Young For Return

NOVEMBER 4: Head coach Ron Rivera said that Young has had “a very good week” of practice, but that he will not be on the field for Sunday’s game against the Vikings (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post). The team is being cautious with his conditioning, among other things, as he prepares to return from this lengthy absence.

NOVEMBER 2: Following through with their recently stated intention, the Commanders have opened Chase Young‘s return window from the reserve/PUP list. The third-year defensive end is back at practice for the first time since tearing his right ACL nearly a year ago.

The former No. 2 overall pick has been on the shelf since suffering the injury Nov. 14, 2021. While this is on the long end for an ACL recovery, Young’s injury was believed to be a bit more serious. The Commanders have three weeks to activate him; not being activated by Nov. 23 would lead to Young missing a full season.

A report just before the season indicated moved Young’s recovery timetable to the midseason point. While Young has been eligible to come off Washington’s PUP list since Week 5, the former Defensive Rookie of the Year underwent reconstructive surgery that required a graft from his left patellar tendon. That contributed to this extended timeline. It is possible Young goes a full year without playing, but the Commanders taking a conservative route here has always added up. Young, 23, remains a candidate to sign a monster extension that keeps him in Washington well beyond his rookie deal.

How Young fares in his return will help determine his price range. After a 7.5-sack rookie season included four forced fumbles — one of which going back for a late-season touchdown — the coveted prospect only produced 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in 2021. It will be interesting to see how quickly Young can re-emerge as an impact player following this rehab odyssey.

The Commanders were linked to potential seller trades not long ago, but they have since won three straight to move to 4-4 and back into the playoff picture. Five Washington pass rushers — Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Jamin Davis, Montez Sweat and Efe Obada — have tallied at least three sacks, with Payne’s 4.5 leading the way in his contract year. Young’s replacement, former seventh-round pick James Smith-Williams, has two sacks and 11 QB hits. Young’s return will help restore one of the league’s deepest defensive lines in recent memory.

NFC East Notes: Commanders, Dillard, Giants

The Commanders are planning to open Chase Young‘s practice window next week, Ron Rivera said Thursday. Designating Young to return off the reserve/PUP list will give the former Defensive Rookie of the Year three weeks to be activated. Young has not played since suffering a right ACL tear, and his reconstructive surgery required a graft from his left patellar tendon. This pushed Young’s timetable to midseason. Washington has used James Smith-Williams (two sacks) alongside Montez Sweat (three) this season. The team has been cautious with Young, who last played on Nov. 14, 2021, doing so despite Rivera not exactly being on a tepid seat.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • Washington has discussed demoted cornerback William Jackson in trades, and teams have also expressed interest in Daron Payne. But the Commanders are still planning to hang onto the fifth-year defensive tackle, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. Washington did not progress far with Payne on extension talks but rebuffed trade inquiries this offseason. Its D-tackle equation has changed since then. Second-round rookie Phidarian Mathis is out for the season. Both Payne and longtime D-tackle mate Jonathan Allen lead the Commanders with 3.5 sacks apiece; Payne also tallied a safety this season. One of the NFC’s seven 3-4 teams, the Commanders do not necessarily have to be sellers. But they are in the conference’s toughest division, making a road to the postseason more difficult.
  • Staying on the trade front, Andre Dillard continues to generate interest. Mentioned in trade rumors before last year’s deadline, the Eagles’ swing tackle might be available this year. The Eagles are believed to be open to moving the former first-rounder, Fowler adds, but they are likely to want at least a third-round pick to move on. Dillard is in a contract year. He would probably be a starter on several teams but operates as a swingman behind Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson. Dillard’s injury history (23 missed games) also stands to affect his value.
  • The Giants will be without one of their tackles for a while. Evan Neal suffered what is believed to be a grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss at least three games, per Fowler and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter links). Neal stabilized his rookie season a bit after a disastrous night against the Cowboys’ menacing pass rush, but an IR move might be in the cards here. The Giants used Tyre Phillips as Neal’s replacement against the Jaguars. Formerly the Ravens’ starting left guard, Phillips arrived in New York via waiver claim. He rejoined ex-Baltimore teammate Ben Bredeson in New York, but the Giants’ starting left guard is also set to miss time after a Week 7 injury.
  • Daniel Bellinger also left the Giants-Jaguars game due to injury. The team’s starting tight end will soon undergo surgery to repair a fractured eye socket and septum, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post tweets. Brian Daboll said it is too soon to count on Bellinger returning this season, though Schwartz adds this is not believed to be a season-ending malady. Stepping in as a starter despite being a rookie fourth-round pick, Bellinger has 16 receptions (third in an evolving Giants aerial attack) for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The San Diego State alum also has a rushing score this season. Tanner Hudson is the only other Giant tight end with a catch (three) this year.

Commanders Activate RB Brian Robinson

OCTOBER 3: As expected, the team is indeed opening the three-week window for Robinson’s return to practice, head coach Ron Rivera confirmed on Monday.

OCTOBER 2: The Commanders are expected to activate running back Brian Robinson from the reserve/NFI list this week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. While Robinson has been trending in the right direction, this news is nonetheless a welcome development given that he suffered multiple gunshot wounds in an attempted carjacking at the end of August.

Robinson, a third-round rookie, was impressive in spring work and in training camp, leading to reports that he could be in line for the RB1 role, ahead of 2020-21 starter Antonio Gibson. Robinson took on a larger offensive workload in the early stages of the preseason, whereas Gibson was used as a kick returner for the first time in his pro career. Then, in the preseason finale, Robinson sat out, another sign that he was poised to work with the starting offense.

Shortly after the shooting, it was reported that Robinson was eyeing a return to the field this season, and in the middle of September, we learned that the Alabama product was already doing footwork and agility drills, which suggested that he was getting closer to game action. Rapoport cautions that Robinson is not necessarily assured of playing in Washington’s Week 5 matchup against the Titans; his activation would simply open a three-week window for him to practice before he either has to play or else be shut down for the remainder of the year.

John Keim of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that Robinson will have his right leg reexamined today (the gunshots hit his hip and knee, though there was no serious damage to his ligaments, tendons, or bones). Assuming the examination goes well, he would be activated Monday and practice on Wednesday. In his absence, Gibson and J.D. McKissic have split reps in the offensive backfield, with Gibson taking most of the handoffs and McKissic being used in more of a receiver role. Gibson has rushed 40 times for 124 yards, good for a meager 3.1 YPC average. Washington is ranked in the bottom-eight in the league in terms of rushing offense, so the club is doubtlessly eager to get Robinson going.

In other injury news, defensive end Chase Young, who is recovering from an ACL tear, is continuing to target a midseason return. That is consistent with what we heard in August. Center Tyler Larsen, meanwhile, will come off the PUP list this coming week and will be evaluated in practice (Twitter link via Keim). Larsen, who started three games for the Commanders last year, is dealing with an Achilles injury.

Latest On Chase Young’s Timetable

The Commanders moving Chase Young to their reserve/PUP list sidelines him for at least four games, but Young may not make his debut in Week 5. A longer layoff appears in the cards.

Young is not expected back until closer to midseason, Ralph Vacchiano of Fox Sports notes. The former Defensive Rookie of the Year is recovering from a right ACL tear, and the reconstructive surgery required a graft from his left patellar tendon. This has pointed to a longer rehab timetable.

Ron Rivera called Young’s ACL tear a bit more severe than Logan Thomas‘. Despite suffering his ACL tear in mid-December, Thomas came off Washington’s active/PUP list earlier this week. Young went down Nov. 14. Week 10 — a Monday-night game against the Eagles — would mark a year since the injury. Though, a precise return date will likely not be known for a bit. Washington’s bye week is not until Week 14.

Although Montez Sweat is healthy, after the team’s 2019 first-round pick missed a chunk of last season due to injury, the Commanders did not make any notable investments to fill in for Young during the season’s first half. The team has former seventh-round pick James Smith-Williams, who made six starts last season, and third-year edge Casey Toohill. A former seventh-round Eagles pick, Toohill also made six 2021 starts. The two combined for 3.5 sacks last season.

Young, 23, was not as effective in 2021 as he was during a standout rookie season. The Commanders being cautious with the former No. 2 overall pick should be the expectation, given his potential long-term future with the team. A lot will be on Sweat and the team’s bevy of acclaimed interior D-linemen until the Commanders’ front-four anchor returns.

Commanders Place Chase Young On Reserve/PUP List

Chase Young was not expected to return for the start of the Commanders’ season. The team’s Tuesday transaction involving the standout defensive end will ensure he is not back until October.

Washington moved Young from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list today, a decision that will sideline the third-year pass rusher for at least the season’s first four games. Teams can begin designating reserve/PUP players today; Washington also moved offensive lineman Tyler Larsen to that list.

It is unsurprising the team is being cautious with the former Defensive Rookie of the Year. Young suffered a torn ACL on Nov. 14, 2021. Beginning the season on the Commanders’ PUP list will extend his recovery timetable to nearly 11 months. Young, 23, will miss games against the Jaguars, Lions, Eagles and Cowboys.

Last season brought a step back on multiple fronts for Young, who played a major role in lifting Washington to the 2020 NFC East title. Prior to the injury, the Ohio State product registered just 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hits in nine games. As a rookie the year prior, the No. 2 overall pick totaled 7.5 sacks and forced four fumbles, returning one for a touchdown.

Washington dealt with injuries to Young and Montez Sweat last season, one that featured the same number of wins as its 2020 campaign (seven) but a finish well back of the division-leading Cowboys. This could be the final year the team deploys its starting D-line of the past two seasons, with Daron Payne in a contract year. Sweat is signed through 2023, via the fifth-year option, and Young will become extension-eligible in January.

A 2022 bounce-back year will obviously help put Young in position to become one of the league’s highest-paid defenders, but his journey back will not involve game action for a bit.

Chase Young Expected To Miss Start Of Regular Season

One of the top storylines in Washington this offseason has been the progress defensive end Chase Young makes as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. The injury kept him sidelined during the spring, and, as expected, has landed him on the PUP list to start training camp. His Week 1 availability is now very much in question as well. 

Head coach Ron Rivera said, via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra, that the 23-year-old is “probably going to miss a little bit of time” to start the regular season. He added that Young’s ACL tear is “a little more severe” than that suffered by tight end Logan Thomas, who is himself likely to miss the opening few games of the campaign.

“Chase and I had a conversation,” Rivera continued, “and I said, ‘Look, don’t push yourself. This is not just about this season, but it’s also about the future.'” Referencing the setbacks felt by Curtis Samuel after the Commanders tried to bring him back early, Rivera also said, “what we’ve done, we’ve backed up, looked at everybody, and said, ‘hey, we know there is a timeframe that you say look, OK, this is when we’ll get this guy back.’ But we’ve got to be really careful with [Young] just because of who he is for us.”

The 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year was limited to nine games last year, one which saw him fall short of his statistical performance the season prior with just 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. Young will have lofty expectations upon his return, but if the Commanders place him on IR to start the campaign, he will be sidelined for at least four games. The progress he makes in the coming weeks will thus be worth closely monitoring.