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Washington Commanders could delay Chase Young’s return until Week 13

Chase Young, Washington Commanders
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders edge rusher Chase Young tore his ACL on Nov. 14, 2021, a devastating knee injury that brought along a lengthy recovery process. More than a year later, Young still hasn’t returned to the field.

Just a few months ago, Washington wouldn’t rule out Young playing early in the 2022 NFL season. While reports surfaced in June that the former No. 2 pick might open the season on injured reserve, head coach Ron Rivera refused to put an exact timetable on Young’s absence.

Young ultimately landed on injured reserve, immediately ruling him out for the first four regular-season games. However, the star edge rusher and the organization targeted a midseason return.

Related: Washington Commanders schedule

Washington kept pushing Young’s return date further back, first eyeing Week 10 before ruling him out well in advance of each game. Now there is doubt about Young’s availability on Sunday.

According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Washington could hold Young out another week as there is no certainty he plays against the Atlanta Falcons. Even when he returns, per Fowler, the Commanders will have Young on a low snap count.

  • Chase Young stats (career): 16 QB hits, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks in 24 games

Missing more than a full season following a torn ACL isn’t an immediate cause for concern. Estimates range from 7 months to a full calendar year and the Commanders’ investment in Young is certainly playing a role in their approach.

Based on how much time he’s already missed and the projected snap counts, fans will need to temper their expectations for Young’s return. The 6-foot-5 edge rusher likely won’t be as explosive coming off the snap and even slightly diminished athleticism will diminish his effectiveness as a pass rusher.

Fortunately for the Commanders, there are no long-term concerns with Young and he should be back to his normal abilities long before the 2023 NFL season. When he does return in December, Washington will likely be happy with whatever it gets from the 23-year-old pass rusher.