Young’s return from IR clock likely to start this week, Rivera says originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Washington’s stout defensive unit could be in store for a major personnel addition within the next three weeks.
Per head coach Ron Rivera, the 21-day clock to get edge rusher Chase Young back to regular season action will probably start ticking this week.
“For us, it will be now football conditioning. We’ll start on Wednesday, more than likely the clock starts Wednesday morning,” Rivera said to JP Finlay on Monday.
The Commanders’ next test will be an away battle at Indianapolis this coming Sunday. However, considering the fact that Young tore his ACL in November of last year, Rivera cited Young’s personal conditioning as a reason why the chances are slim he’ll play in that Week 8 contest.
“Only because he really hasn’t done the football conditioning aspect of it, I would say the chances right now [of Young suiting up Sunday] are very slim,” Rivera said. “And again, we want to be fair to the kid. We want to make sure the conditioning is right and that he can do all the football things he’s gonna need to do, because the last thing you want to do is get him out there too early.”
Per NFL rules, players who return to practice from injured reserve have 21 days to be placed back on the active roster. That means that if Young’s clock does in fact begin this week and he doesn’t suit up against Indianapolis, he’ll have a chance to make his season debut either Week 9 vs. Minnesota or Week 10 (on Monday Night Football) at Philadelphia before the deadline arrives on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
Young met with Dr. James Andrews on Sunday to examine the affected knee. Prior to the meeting, Rivera said that if the examination went well then Young’s return to the practice field would be imminent. Well…
“He had a very good doctor’s visit,” Rivera said. “He’s got one more to do, one final. They were very optimistic on Sunday, he had a really good workout. They’re really pleased with it.”
It’s been nearly a full calendar year since the former Defensive Rookie of the Year went down with a devastating ACL tear vs. Tampa Bay in 2021. Over the course of the offseason and bleeding into the preseason and regular season, Young’s recovery has impressed coaches and teammates. It finally looks as though the 23-year-old is primed to suit up for the first time as a Commander within the next few weeks.
Young’s absence hasn’t doomed Washington’s defensive line, though. As of their Week 7 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, the Commanders rank t-6th in the NFL with 19 sacks on the campaign. The defense as a whole is also second in the league in third down defense, allowing opponents to convert just 29.5% of the time (including holding Green Bay to 0-of-6 on Sunday).
Washington’s replacement edge rushers like Efe Obada and James Smith-Williams have performed admirably in Young’s absence. But getting Young back could be a huge boost to a defensive line that has been waiting to field an entirely healthy unit all season.