Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young is expected to be activated this week to play Sunday against the Houston Texans, his first game since tearing his right ACL and MCL last November, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Young, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft who was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, was injured in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Nov. 14, 2021. He returned to practice on Nov. 2, giving the Commanders (5-5) 21 days to activate him off the physically unable to perform list.
There had been hope that Young would be able to return for Monday’s 32-21 win over the Eagles in Philadelphia, but on Friday defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said Young was still not doing everything at full speed.
Washington coach Ron Rivera stressed on Saturday that the Commanders did not want Young back unless they were absolutely sure of his knee and said they were taking the long-term view with his situation.
“We won’t play him unless we feel he’s ready to roll,” Rivera said. “There are some things he’s not comfortable doing. … You can see his frustration because he wants it to happen now.”
The Commanders wanted to see how Young held up over a full week before playing him, to build up his conditioning and test his knee against an offensive lineman’s block attempt. When Young was held out of practice Thursday because it had moved indoors, it was considered a crucial lost day in his return, and it was one reason he was not activated to play at Philadelphia.
Young had a strong rookie season with 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown. But last season he was less effective, with 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in eight games.
“You know what my expectations are for myself,” Young said earlier this month. “It’s coming.”