Commanders’ Chase Young will miss at least the first four games of 2022


Washington Commanders moved star defensive end Chase Young from the active/physically unable to play roster to the reserve/physically unable to play roster on Tuesday morning, meaning he will miss at least the first four games of the season.

It was no surprise. Young tore the ACL in his right knee in November and coach Ron Rivera ruled him out for the season opener earlier in training camp. But the move raises the question of whether Young could miss even more time.

“As we go through this, it’s hard to predict recovery time,” Rivera said. “This injury was a little more serious than the average [ACL tear]. Therefore, the delay is a little longer. What that timeline is, I couldn’t tell you.

Washington made the decision despite Young appearing to be making progress on the court. He has been a vocal observer in recent weeks – “I need you, 9-0,” he often shouts during drills at teammate Montez Sweat, who wears No. 90 – and an afternoon recent after practice, Young ran to defensive coordinator Jack Del Río.

” Have ! Ay! Look at that,” Young said, cutting through the grass and exploding out of position at seemingly near full speed. Young pointed the brace at his right knee. “Check the numbers!”

Look at the tracking data, Young meant. Players wear biometric devices that track their movements, including speed. Del Rio smiled at Young’s enthusiasm and assured him that he would indeed check the numbers.

In November, the defensive end underwent ACL reconstruction in which famed sports surgeon James Andrews used a left patellar tendon transplant from Young to reconstruct the ligament in his right knee. The procedure is subtly different from an ACL repair, in which a surgeon reattaches the torn ligament to the bone. Recovery after a repair is often shorter than a reconstruction.

During the offseason, tight end Logan Thomas — who tore his ACL about three weeks after Young and was activated on Monday — said he and Young had different surgeries.

It’s possible Young could return on October 9 against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5. But if he’s not ready by then, it seems unlikely the team will bring him back for Week 6, which is a Thursday night game at the Chicago Bears.

During Chase Young’s long road back, performance will trump personality

Young’s prolonged absence is worrisome for Washington, who has struggled to generate a consistent pass rush against Sweat. Rivera criticized Casey Toohill and others for not consistently playing their assignments.

Rivera said that while he still expects the best efforts from players, knowing that Young will be out for at least four weeks can help players who are expected to replace him, including Toohill, James Smith-Williams, Efe Obada and Shaka Toney.

“That should mean [to those players] at a minimum, “I have four weeks, I have to go out there and do what I have to do,” Rivera said. “Again, however long [Young] is out, these guys should realize or recognize that this is their opportunity.

After practice on Tuesday, Toohill praised Young for spending time on the court with his teammates every day despite his injury.

“He’s not sulking. He doesn’t just say things to say things,” Toohill said. “He is very helpful with technique. He is very detailed with all of us and he coaches everyone. … [He has] a big emphasis on staying low [with] low pad level. It’s useful for passing rushes, some running stuff.

Commanders made several additional moves on Tuesday, on the deadline to narrow the roster down to 80. The roster is technically at 81, but because defensive tackle David Bada is with the team through the International Player Pathway program, he doesn’t count toward the cap.

The team added center Tyler Larsen to the reserve/PUP roster, released receiver Kelvin Harmon and tackle Rashod Hill, and placed linebacker Nathan Gerry on injured reserve.

The commanders reached an injury settlement with Sammis Reyes, according to someone familiar with the situation. This means the tight end is now a free agent and can sign with any club.

There hasn’t been talk of Reyes returning to Washington, the person said, but he could if the team is interested. By rule, Reyes must miss three regular season games plus the number of games covered by his injury settlement before returning.

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