ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Chase Young will miss the Washington Commanders’ first four games of the season after landing on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
The team put Young and backup center Tyler Larsen on the list Tuesday, also releasing receiver Kelvin Harmon and offensive tackle Rashod Hill and placing linebacker Nathan Gerry on injured reserve.
Young, the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year, is working back from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. That surgery involved grafting part of his left patellar tendon to fix the tear.
“As we go through this, it’s hard to predict on recovery time,” coach Ron Rivera said. “This injury is a little bit more severe than the average one is, and because of that, the timeline is a little bit longer. What is that timeline? I can’t tell you.”
Rivera had already ruled out Washington’s top pass-rusher for the season opener against Jacksonville and indicated Young could start the season on the PUP list. The first game Young is eligible to play is Oct. 9 against Tennessee, though there’s no guarantee he’s ready by then.
The team and Young have refused to set a timeframe on his return from what Rivera has repeatedly called a significant injury. Young injured the knee Nov. 14 against Tampa Bay, opening the door for young linemen such as Casey Toohill and Shaka Toney to take on bigger responsibilities.
“It was just dialing in my focus: doing the same thing I’d been doing but just now more of an opportunity, more plays,” Toohill said. “I think it’s the same now, just keeping that same focus as I had before and getting things going.”
Young is still sporting a brace on his right knee while out at practice. Despite not taking part, the 23-year-old is vocal during team drills and has helped teammates in quieter ways.
“He sees things very well in terms of the game of football,” Toohill said. “He’s out here and he’s coaching us. He’s not sulking. He’s not just saying things to say things. He is being very helpful with technique, he’s being very detailed with all of us and he coaches everybody.”
JURGENSEN TO BE HONORED
The Commanders will retire Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen’s No. 9 in their regular-season finale against the rival Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 7 or 8. Jurgensen played 11 of his 18 NFL seasons for Washington and spent 38 more as a radio broadcaster, giving him a total of 55 years with the organization.
“No member of the Washington franchise will ever wear the No. 9 again, which is truly a nod to Sonny’s incredible accomplishments on and off the field,” co-owner Tanya Snyder said in a statement. “Dan and I are thankful for the 55 years Sonny dedicated to the franchise. People will remember him as one of the greatest quarterbacks in franchise history and the radio voice of the team for our three Super Bowl victories. He represents true excellence and professionalism and serves as a role model for future Washington players.”
The team announced the honor on Jurgensen’s 88th birthday.
“I am very humbled by this recognition,” he said. “It is an honor of a lifetime to have my jersey retired with a franchise I spent 55 years of my life with.”
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