Chase Young isn't going to surprise folks with an early return to the field in 2022.
The defensive end is headed to the reserve/physically unable to perform list, the Commanders announced on Tuesday. The move means Young will miss the first four games of Washington's 2022 slate.
Commanders head coach Ron Rivera later told reporters on Tuesday that the uncertainty surrounding Young's timeline contributed to their decision to place Young on PUP, per The Athletic.
This doesn't come as a complete shock. In late July, Rivera intimated Young -- the former first-round selection who suffered a torn ACL in November -- might not be ready to hit the field for the start of the regular season. Rivera stressed caution and patience as camp began, and after nearly a month of preparation, Rivera's expectations proved to be accurate.
Washington is still loaded up front with its bevy of former first-round picks, but Young's absence puts a bit of a damper on the start of the season. The former second-overall pick was a stud as a rookie in 2020, earning Pro Bowl and Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after recording 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown, and doing all of this while battling a groin injury suffered in Week 3. His sophomore season wasn't nearly as impressive, and ended after just nine games played.
Year 3 is setting up to be an important one for Young, who enters with expectations despite coming off a significant knee injury. Washington isn't going to rush Young back just to see whether he can live up to such expectations, nor will Rivera run the risk of further complicating Young's health status solely for a game or two of work (they already learned that lesson with Curtis Samuel). The Commanders will be OK without him as they wait to ensure Young is fully healthy and ready to return.