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Washington Commanders Injury Update: Chase Young not cleared to practice, and uncertain for Week 1

This stings

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

A new report from The Athletic’s Ben Standig is not good news for Chase Young, or the Washington Commanders defense. He suffered a stinger during the preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns, and has been sidelined ever since. Standig reports that Young is not cleared for contact, and will meet with a doctor again this week to try to get cleared to play. His availability for the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field on September 10th is in doubt.

This was supposed to be Chase Young’s year, He was drafted #2 overall and won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020, but then tore his ACL the following year. He returned late last season, but didn’t look like he was close to 100%. The Commanders declined his 5th-year option, a similar move to the one they had taken with Daron Payne last year. Washington was looking for a similar career year from Young, and a return to his rookie form.

He worked out on his own instead of attending OTAs again this year, but looked vastly improved when he rejoined the team. There were positive reports from training camp, and excitement about his return, and the potential effect a healthy Chase Young could have on the Commanders defense. That return might have to wait a little longer if he doesn’t get cleared soon.

Washington kept 11 defensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster, but several moves were expected after Tuesday deadline. Washington officially placed DLs Phidarian Mathis and Efe Obada on injured reserve today, but they re-signed DT Abdullah Anderson. Washington’s DE depth took a hit with #3 DE Obada missing at least 4 games while on IR. Young was not placed on IR, which indicates he could be close to returning.

If Young misses Week 1, or longer, the Commanders will have Montez Sweat as the starter with James Smith-Williams getting the other spot. Washington also has Casey Toohill, and rookies KJ Henry and Andre Jones available to back them up. William Bradley-King can also be called up from the practice squad if needed.