3 critical elements Commanders DE Chase Young must prove in 2023

Chase Young
Chase Young / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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What critical elements must Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young prove during a make-or-break campaign for the player in 2023?

Ahead of the start of mandatory OTAs tomorrow, the Washington Commanders officially welcomed back defensive end Chase Young for the team's media commitments on Monday. This was the first time he's been in the building since the earliest offseason phase and comes after some significant headlines were generated about his absence from voluntary workouts.

While Young has never participated in voluntary OTAs before, this time seemed different. Fans wanted to see the edge rusher out there with his teammates after missing so much football over the last two years - especially considering the Commanders chose not to pick up his fifth-year option.

That's a subject for debate, obviously. But the most important thing for Young is to immerse himself quickly and lay the right foundations for a successful campaign - one that represents a career crossroads for the once-generational talent out of Ohio State.

With that in mind, here are three critical elements that Young must prove during the 2023 season.

Chase Young must prove his fitness to Commanders

This is probably the biggest thing above all else. Chase Young has turned out just 12 times over the last two seasons thanks to injury. And his torn ACL is often one of the most difficult long-term complications to recover fully from.

Young has the talent, well know that. But unless he puts a consistent run of games together, it's hard to envisage a scenario where he gets a bumper payday to stick around long-term next spring.

In fact, if Young drops in and out of the lineup with one problem or another, the Washington Commanders might cut their losses entirely and trade the No. 2 overall selection in 2020 before the deadline.