Chase Young, who has been recovering from a knee injury he suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10, said during his first press conference in nearly two months that he is "making great progress" and his rehab is going well.
"I feel real good," Young said Monday. "I feel like my knees are getting better every day."
Young, who was injured in the second quarter of the Buccaneers game and was ruled out for the year by head coach Ron Rivera the following day, didn't provide many specifics on his rehab process or his timeline, instead saying he intends to take things slowly.
"Right now I'm just going to be where my feet are at," Young said. "Just take things one day at a time and just try to attack it with my best, day in and day out."
Young knows sustaining injuries are part of the deal when deciding to pursue a professional career. Still, watching his teammates at home, rather than playing alongside them on the field, was an adjustment for the captain and former No. 2 overall pick. Young had never missed a game in his career, he said, so being out for almost half the season "definitely hurt."
During a virtual sit down with Senior Vice President of Media and Content Julie Donaldson, Young said it gave him a different perspective.
"It's definitely not the best feeling, knowing you went down off an injury and you can't finish the season. [There were] a lot of things we wanted to accomplish that we just couldn't."
The injury itself was one of several the defense had to deal with throughout the season. His fellow defensive end Montez Sweat suffered a jaw injury and was placed on Injured Reserve. Other defensive linemen spent time on the Reserve/COVID-19 list and were forced to miss games because of it.
Young tried to provide as much support as he could through it all by occasionally sending motivational texts to his teammates. He would even send Rivera texts to "get money" before games to try and get his team hyped up.
As for the next steps in his recovery, Young said he has been in close contact with Rivera about figuring out a plan. He hopes to be back in time for training camp, but he isn't thinking that far into the future just yet.
Young feels that going through pivotal moments, such as the one he's currently experiencing, will either "break you or take you to another. He fully intends for it to be the latter in his case.
"Trust me, I know that my knee can get back to 110%," Young said. "As long as it can get back to 110%, then that's the only thing that I care about."