Commanders

'Going as planned': Young delves into recovery from torn ACL

Commanders
Chase Young

Nearly 90 Commanders players participated in Wednesday's OTAs session, yet it was the one who made a brief appearance on the sideline in a long-sleeved shirt, patterned shorts and crisp white Under Armour shoes to merely chat with teammates who garnered the most attention.

Chase Young, who was missing from Washington's set of voluntary activities last week, returned to the club's home facility on Tuesday and was spotted during the latter portion of Wednesday's action, even though he's not prepared to line up for any football-related work. 

Once the final on-field horn was sounded, the defensive end spoke to the media in a press conference that was focused largely on how rehab from his November torn ACL is progressing.

"Everything is going as planned," Young told the assembled reporters, though he, like Ron Rivera, declined to pinpoint a specific return date. "I'm happy where I'm at and I'm confident on everything I'm doing going forward."

Young explained that, currently, he's running and also able to squat "a substantial amount of weight." He wasn't wearing a brace or any sort of padding on his surgically-repaired right knee, at least during his time in front of the cameras on Wednesday. 

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In the meantime, Young intends to devote himself to the mental aspect of his role as the Commanders continue on through the rest of their June OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

"Standing with [coordinator Jack] Del Rio, listening to every call, watching every guy, what he's supposed to do," Young said when asked what he can get out of these practices while helmet-less. 

Rivera believes there's plenty for Young to absorb, too.

"It's seeing the installations and seeing the tape afterwards, giving an opportunity to listen to the coaches as they point out the things that are happening that are good and bad," Rivera said. "You can learn from that."

Young's absence last week, along with Montez Sweat's, generated a decent amount of drama for a franchise that never needs any extra help in that department.

Those two pass rushers missed the beginning of OTAs in 2021 as well, a development that irked Rivera and Del Rio, so it inevitably became a story when they weren't present this time around. Young, however, didn't seem to care bothered by the outside conversations about his attendance.

"It was really just my plan that we had with Dr. [James] Andrews, my trainer in Colorado and the trainers here," he said. "Just the best plan to bring me back to 100%."

Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. certainly wasn't stressed over Young's initial lack of showing, either.

"He doesn't need to be here but I'm glad that I see him in the locker room and stuff like that," Leno Jr. said. "We need him for Sunday at the end of the day. So whether it is here or Indonesia, I don't care where [he rehabs] at."

Young's decision to spend much of his recovery in Colorado is something that the organization and medical staff have had input on, per Rivera, and Young appreciates the "tools and gadgets" that are available there to get him back into shape as quickly as possible.

And when Young does eventually feel fully healthy, he'll be anxious to restore his standing on Washington's defense and in the league overall. 

"Things happen in life, and it's really just how you respond," he said. "I'm going to respond very well."