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The return of Chase Young - how much longer?

Updated: Aug 29, 2022

The Washington Commanders will be without its star for at least the first month of the season. Chase Young, who suffered a season ending knee injury on November 14 of last year, has still not fully recovered and will be out until at least Week 5 of the upcoming NFL season.

For background, the third year defensive lineman, Young was the most highly touted player coming out of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Commanders selected Young with the second overall selection in the draft, following Cincinnati’s selection of quarterback Joe Burrow. Young, an Upper Marlboro, MD native, was the obvious choice for Washington.

Photo: Matthew Emmons/USA Today

His senior year at Ohio State, Young took the college football world by storm, recording 21 tackles for loss (TFL’s) and 16.5 sacks along with 7 forced fumbles. His domination led him to be the number one prospect coming into the 2020 draft. The Cincinnati Bengals had the number one pick, but they needed a quarterback. So Young fell to the second spot, Washington.

His rookie season in D.C. Young played in 15 games, recording 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks and forcing four fumbles and scoring a touchdown in a game against San Francisco.

Last year, Young got off to a slow start. In his first 9 games of 2021, he only recorded 1.5 sacks and 3 TFL’s.

In Week 10 against the Buccaneers, with Washington off to a 13-0 lead, Young went down on a 3rd down and 2 with an apparent non-contact leg injury. Never a good sign.

Photo: Yahoo Sports

Later suspicions were confirmed when the team announced that Young had a torn ACL and MCL and would require season ending surgery.

It’s now August 26 with training camp complete and the season opener against Jacksonville just over two weeks away. Unfortunately, it was finally confirmed this week that Young will not be ready to start the season on the field.

“As we go through this, it’s hard to predict on recovery time,” Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday. “This injury is a little bit more severe than the average one is, and because of that, the timeline is a little bit longer. What is the timeline? I can’t tell you.”

Not great.

ACL tears are the most common long-term injury in the NFL and the timeline can be complicated but is still generally more straightforward than this.

In the press conference with Rivera on Tuesday, it was confirmed that Young would not only miss Week 1, but would be out for at least the first four games of the season.

Young will be eligible to return to action in Week 5 when Washington takes on the Tennessee Titans.

With year three being pivotal for Young, it’s the smart move for the team to not rush him back from such a significant injury. They will certainly wait til he is fully healthy to bring him back into the fold; one can hope that the team still has postseason aspirations once he finally takes the field.

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