Chase Young is ready for action.
The Washington Commanders announced Friday that the defensive end has been cleared and will be active Week 2 versus the Denver Broncos.
Young missed Week 1 due to a stinger that popped up during the club’s first preseason game. The edge rusher was listed as limited during Wednesday’s practice but got in two full sessions Thursday and Friday, paving the way to be cleared for his first action of the season.
“Very positive, a lot of good things throughout the week, and there’s a lot of confidence,” coach Ron Rivera said. “Obviously, we have to be smart because it’s his first introduction to full contact, full-speed contact other than what he had in practice this week. And he had a very good week. I mean, the young man has worked his tail off. I think he’s done the things that they’ve needed to see, so that’s the real big positive for us going forward.”
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Rivera noted that Young would be on a snap count Sunday.
“We mostly have to be aware, and have a pitch count, obviously, but the biggest thing more than anything else is the young man has been just terrific from day one of training camp, worked his tail off, had the unfortunate [injury] where we had to put him down for a little bit, but now he’s back up,” he said. “He’s been working hard, he’s done everything he needs to, he’s been chomping at the bit, so we’re excited for his opportunity.”
Since winning the 2020 AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, the former No. 2 overall pick has seen his career derailed by injuries. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear in 2021 and didn’t return to the field until the final three games of the 2022 season.
The injury history caused the Commanders to decline Young’s fifth-year option, making him a free agent after this season.
In three years, Young has appeared in 27 games, compiling nine sacks and 75 tackles, most of which (7.5 sacks, 44 tackles) came in his rookie campaign.
Needing an excellent season to strike an offseason pay day, Young staying healthy for the bulk of the season will be essential.
“Just trying to be the best Chase that I can be,” Young said Friday. “Just trying to do my job, and trying to contribute.”
For a Washington defensive line that dominated Arizona in Week 1, generating a 39.4 pressure rate, per Next Gen Stats, and stymying the run game, getting Young back on the field makes a dangerous unit that much deeper and more dynamic.
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