- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 26, 2022

ASHBURN — Chase Young was one of four Commanders players Tuesday put on the NFL’s Physically Unable to Perform list. Ahead of his team’s first training camp practice of the season Wednesday, his coach made clear the defensive end likely will be the last one off it. 

Coach Ron Rivera said Young‘s recovery from a torn ACL is “probably the one that’s going to take the most time” among the players injured. Young joined tight end Logan Thomas (ACL), center Chase Roullier (fibula) and center Tyler Larsen (Achilles) on the list, while tackle Cornelius Lucas was placed on the non-football illness list. Players were required to report to the team’s facility earlier in the day for training camp. 

Young had said recently that he hoped to be ready for camp, but Rivera called that goal an “unfair expectation” in light of the severity of the knee injury suffered by the 23-year-old in November. 

Washington opens the season Sept. 11 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

“Chase Young, obviously, is probably the one that there is most concern as far as the time is concerned because he had a serious injury, and he had it late in the year,” Rivera said.  “He‘s been working hard. His rehab’s been going well from what we’ve seen and what we understand. 

“But you never really know until you get to get your hands back on him. … It was serious, obviously, and any time you’re talking about an ACL it’s just down the line. We’ll have to wait and see on that one.”

Asked why Young was projected to take longer than Thomas — who got hurt in December — Rivera said the two had different types of injuries, despite both tearing their ACL. 

Rivera did not expand, though there have been indications that Young’s injury was more complicated than the one suffered by Thomas.

Young told reporters in June that surgeon Dr. James Andrews had to open up his healthy left knee and take a graft from his patellar tendon to reconstruct the other side.

During training camp, players can be activated off the PUP list at any time. If they are still there by the start of the regular season, a player will have to miss a minimum of six games. 

Rivera expressed optimism that Roullier, who got hurt in late October, will be the first one of the group to return. The starting center worked with trainers off to the side during the team’s offseason workouts, but said last month that he expected to be cleared at some point in camp. 

Thomas’s return, Rivera said, is still “a little bit down the line.” Though the 31-year-old’s injury wasn’t as severe as Young’s, the tight end still tore his ACL, MCL and both meniscuses after taking a hit from then Las Vegas Raiders pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. The hit drew criticism from fans and players as Ngakoue went at Thomas’ legs on the play to make the block.

Since then, Thomas is back to running and has been able to work with trainers.

“Logan has looked real good,” Rivera said.

Of the injuries, Young’s recovery figures to be vital to the Commanders’ chances this coming season. Despite an underwhelming Year 2 — the pass-rusher only had 1½ sacks before the injury — Rivera and Co. remain high on Young after the former second overall pick was named defensive rookie of the year in 2020. 

“You put pressure on people to try and accomplish that and get to where they’re supposed to be before they should be, and it could cause something,” Rivera said. “With Chase, and for the most part all those guys, when they’re ready, they’ll be back on the football field. But I did say, Chase, the seriousness of his is there.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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