4 players who must step up after Commanders lengthy injury report
By Jerry Trotta
1. Montez Sweat
That’s right, folks. No single player has to step up at training camp more than Sweat, who will operate as the Commanders’ No. 1 edge rusher while running mate Chase Young continues his recovery from November ACL surgery.
Not only is Young on the PUP list to start camp, but Ron Rivera told reporters Tuesday that the former Defensive Rookie of the Year will “probably take the most time” to return relative to Thomas, Roullier and Larsen. That quote doesn’t inspire confidence, so Sweat will have to carry the load on the edge.
Sweat had his fifth-year option exercised this offseason and could position himself for a handsome extension next offseason if he steps up in 2022. Last year, however, he tallied a sack every two games.
That doesn’t cut it for a player of his caliber. The defensive line needs the former first-round pick to be more than just a role player. It needs him to be a game-wrecker on the edge to take the pressure off Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
The Commanders’ DE room is thin behind Young and Sweat. With Young out seemingly for the foreseeable future, Sweat must establish himself as an alpha. We all know the talent is there and his team needs him to put it on display.