The Washington Commanders’ defensive line has been one of the league’s most dominant units over the last month. Daron Payne and Montez Sweat are playing like they want new contracts and Jon Allen has been a stud as per. Just imagine how much more formidable the group will be when Chase Young joins the mix.
Fans have been driving themselves mad trying to pinpoint when Young might return to the gridiron. Ron Rivera has made sure not to put a hard date on Young’s timeline, which is smart given Young’s surgery was far more substantial than a standard ACL repair.
The head coach made another great point this week saying ACL injuries aren’t eight-month injuries for every athlete, referencing Adrian Peterson’s unprecedented eight-month recovery back in 2013, when science, medicine and surgeries were in a different place relative to today’s advanced studies.
Now, some players are taking less than a year to return from torn Achilles.
For Young, though, his time on the sidelines could be nearing an end. On Friday, Rivera told reporters after practice that Young will meet with Dr. James Andrews this Sunday. If the examination goes according to plan, the former second overall pick could be cleared to practice shortly thereafter.
Commanders’ Chase Young could return to practice next week.
"“I will tell you, he had a preliminary report that was pretty good, so we’re pretty excited,” Rivera said of Young, via NBC Sports Washington. “Now, if it follows up on Sunday, there’s a good chance for next week, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”"
This is massive news for the Commanders.
If Young gets the green light from Dr. Andrews, he could return to practice as early as Wednesday, which is when teams playing Sunday release their first injury report of the week. From there, Young, currently on the physically unable to perform list, would have a 21-day window to get activated. Young would go on IR for the rest of the season if he’s not activated during that window, but that’s not happening.
Will a couple days of practice be enough for Young to get activated for Week 8 against Indianapolis? That depends how he looks, but Jon Allen has spoken glowingly about Young’s progress and said the former Defensive Rookie of the Year looks “phenomenal” as recently as a couple weeks ago.
With the Commanders’ first-round defensive linemen all performing up to their potential — a rarity since the fearsome foursome was assembled — Young’s pending addition could make them borderline unstoppable.
That’s not to say fans should expect Young to hit the ground running after nearly a full calendar year on the shelf, but his presence alone should create more opportunities for Allen, Sweat and Payne to wreak havoc.
Sunday’s game against the Packers will have everyone’s attention, and understandably so, but Young’s meeting with Dr. Andrews won’t be close behind in terms of importance. Fans have been waiting for this day since Week 10 of last season when Young suffered the injury against the Buccaneers and it’s seemingly just a couple days away.