5 players Commanders will be thrilled to have back on the field in 2022
By Jerry Trotta
1. Chase Young
While Samuel will feel like a new signing for Washington, Chase Young’s long-awaited return should have a much bigger impact. The 2021 season was one to forget for Young, who irked fans during the offseason when he was the only player who didn’t report for the start of offseason workouts.
Faced with even more pressure to perform after he took home Defensive Rookie of the Year honors the year prior, Young produced 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and four QB hits in nine games before he tore his ACL in Week 10.
It was a gutting turn of events for Young, who’s on the comeback trail and aiming to be cleared in time to play Week 1 of next season. That might be wishful thinking, but the defense will welcome him back with open arms whenever he returns.
Though he disappointed in Year 2, at the end of the day we’re talking about a “generational” defender, or so he was called at Ohio State, who tore up the NFL as a rookie with 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, the fourth-most of any defender, 10 tackles for loss, 13 QB hits, 40 pressures and a 87.2 player grade.
We’d argue Young wasn’t as poor in 2021 as some folks claim, but there’s no sense fighting a losing battle. The bottom line is don’t be surprised if Young puts together a resurgent 2022 and is in line for team defensive MVP honors when all is said and done even if he misses a few games for precautionary reasons.