MetLife Stadium's turf, which has been scrutinized in recent seasons by many NFL players, coaches and agents, isn't going to prevent Chase Young from making his 2022 debut on Sunday if he's deemed ready to go.
"No, it won't be a factor," Ron Rivera told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay in a one-on-one interview on Monday.
Young, who was designated to return from the Physically Unable to Perform list on Nov. 2 and activated to the Commanders' 53-man roster on Nov. 21, has yet to suit up for meaningful action following his ACL tear last November.
Washington will visit New York this Sunday for a vital game against the Giants, and when Rivera weighs whether to insert Young into the defensive lineup, the playing surface that the meeting will occur on apparently will not enter his mind.
"How are you looking on the field?" Rivera said when explaining what will indeed matter when evaluating Young. "How much confidence [do you have] on the field? [The] young man had a good practice last week, did some really good things, it was encouraging, but it's all part of the rehab."
The residence of the Giants and Jets intends to replace its surface before Week 1 of the 2023 campaign, though it won't be changing to grass, which is what those who believe it's dangerous would prefer. Instead, the building will stick with a synthetic surface.
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Brian Daboll's club has seen a few of its players suffer serious injuries at home this year — including wideouts Sterling Shepard and Wan'Dale Robinson — and Baltimore's John Harbaugh was a bit critical of MetLife's turf after the Ravens faced the Jets on it in Week 1. In 2020, meanwhile, the 49ers lost multiple key pass rushers for the season in a tilt with the Jets.
Young has slowly been working his way into shape this month and an appearance versus the Falcons this past Sunday seemed possible, but he was ultimately ruled out of the Week 12 win with an illness. Perhaps he'll be ready to contribute at last in Week 13.
If not, Young will have the chance to regroup over the bye and will then eye his squad's Week 15 date, which will be at FedEx Field and also against New York.