Fresh off their upset win over the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night, the Washington Commanders could be getting back a key defensive player heading into Week 11.
Defensive end Chase Young, the second overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, is expected to be activated from the physically unable to perform list before the Commanders head to Houston to face the Texans, according to ESPN.
Young tore his ACL in Week 14 of last season, and Monday night was exactly one year since the injury.
He’s been rehabbing well and staying the course while his Commanders have gone 5-5 to this point in the season with a wild-card berth in play.
The Ohio State product has been practicing slowly for a couple weeks now, but head coach Ron Rivera noted that Washington will not rush Young back to the field. Caution is key in this case for one of the best young edge rushers in the game.
By activating Young, the Commanders don’t have to play him right away either. He could miss the game against the Texans if they feel he still isn’t ready, though he’s been trending in the direction to get on the field for his season debut.
In his nine games last season, Young totaled just 1.5 sacks with 26 combined tackles, while forcing two fumbles. But his 15 games in 2020 showed why Washington coveted him so much. He produced 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, 44 combined tackles and four forced fumbles with three recoveries.
Young is a game wrecker who, if healthy, can jolt the Commanders’ defense.
And with some tough games ahead, including two against the New York Giants and a game in San Francisco, Washington will need Young to add more defensive firepower to the group.
The Commanders are 16th in the NFL with 24 sacks on the season. Defensive tackle Daron Payne leads the way with 5 1/2 , and Jonathan Allen has 4 1/2 .