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.