Commanders’ Jack Del Rio throws cold water on Chase Young playing in Week 10
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Commanders’ defensive line is back to performing like one of football’s best. If there was any justice, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne would make the Pro Bowl, and Montez Sweat would be in contention as an injury replacement. The fact they’re doing it without Chase Young is simply incredible.
Fans are waiting patiently for Young to make his 2022 debut.
After a long wait, the Commanders triggered Young’s three-week activation window last week, giving the team 21 days to evaluate Young at practice and promote him to the 53-man roster or he’ll spend the entire season on injured reserve.
Washington is wisely being cautious with Young. The former second overall pick was eligible to play in Week 8 against the Colts and Week 9 vs the Vikings, leading many fans to deem a Week 10 return in Philly on Monday Night Football the perfect return date.
While Ron Rivera has spoken highly of Young’s progress, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio threw cold water on a potential Week 10 return during his Friday press conference, saying Young isn’t quite back to full speed just yet.
It doesn’t sound like Commanders star Chase Young will return in Week 10, according to Jack Del Rio.
That quote doesn’t exactly exude confidence that Young will play Monday night. Anything is possible, but Del Rio’s comments are a far cry from the overwhelmingly positive update Ron Rivera delivered on Thursday.
"“He looked good,” Rivera said of Young. “We put him in pass rush situations to watch him and get a chance to watch him on tape a little bit more. He looked good. It’s good to see him moving around, moving as quick as he is. We’ll see how he is tomorrow morning. It will always be about the next day, how much they work them, the next morning if he is sore or not, will help dictate whether or not we will activate him or not."
What should fans make of these contrasting updates? Perhaps Rivera was merely assessing Young’s performance in Thursday’s practice? Maybe Young looked so explosive that he was a step or two slow in Friday’s session?
Fatigue is common for athletes coming off knee surgery. Was Del Rio solely referring to Friday’s practice, or is the defensive coordinator actually being up front about Young’s progress? Could Del Rio be executing a bit of gamesmanship so as to catch the Eagles off-guard if (or when) Young is activated for Monday night?
These are all pertinent questions. What we do know is that the Commanders have until 4 p.m. EST Monday to active Young from injured reserve.
If you asked us on Thursday, we would’ve said the former Defensive Rookie of the Year had a great shot of playing in the game. Now, we’re leaning more towards a Week 11 return as the most likely outcome, as that would mean Washington used all of the allotted time to activate him.