The Washington Commanders have gotten next to nothing from their edge rushers this season. With no Chase Young, Montez Sweat has seen more double teams and the results have been pretty discouraging. Through three games, Sweat had zero sacks, five quarterback hits and zero tackles for loss
It’s duly noted Sweat’s been strong defending the run but the Commanders drafted him to pressure opposing QBs first and foremost. Sweat will clearly benefit from Young’s return to the lineup. When that will be is anyone’s guess.
Young’s attacked his rehab like someone who wants to silence his haters, but Washington isn’t rushing its franchise cornerstone back to the field. Again, it cannot be understated that Young suffered a torn ACL, which requires an eight-month recovery at minimum, and a fully ruptured patella tendon.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Young is targeting a “midseason” return from his significant knee injuries.
Commanders DE Chase Young making progress in knee rehab, targeting a midseason return to the field.
Young was eligible to come off the physically unable to return list after Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. While Brian Robinson has already been activated off the NFI list, Young is still waiting clearance from doctors to get activated.
All signs indicate Young is right on track in his recovery, however. Last Tuesday, Jonathan Allen said Young looks “phenomenal” in his rehab. Sweat echoed a similar sentiment on Wednesday. And on Friday, Ron Rivera said the former No. 2 overall pick has “looked really good” and hits a new milestone in his recovery every week.
"“Man, Chase is close,” Allen said, via NBC Sports Washington. “I mean, obviously I can’t say because I don’t really know, but he looks good from what I’ve seen and he’s excited. He’s out there running and getting back to his old self, so I’m excited. I really am.”“He’s not doing any drills with us, but I mean, we’re also in full pads hitting each other, getting ready for practice and he’s just not at that stage yet as far as being with the team,” Allen said of Young. “I don’t even know if he’s allowed to, based on the rules—I don’t even know how all that stuff works. It’s really complicated.”"
At this point, the Commanders aren’t going to settle on a hard return date for Young. They’re playing the edge rusher’s recovery by ear. Whenever Young comes off the PUP list, it’s probably fair to deem Week 7 against Green Bay (Oct. 23) or Week 8 against Indianapolis (Oct. 30) as potential return dates for Young.
And if it’s Week 9 against the Vikings, then so be it.
The Commanders’ reeling defense could obviously use Young’s game-breaking skillset, but his long-term health is the primary concern. In the meantime, Sweat, Allen and Daron Payne will continue carrying the load on the defensive line.