Chase Young is close to making his 2022 season debut.
The Washington Commanders have ruled that Young, who was activated off the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list on Monday, will be questionable for their Week 12 game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The Commanders have been careful with Young's recovery up to this point. Rivera, who announced Young's activation during his Monday press conference, said that the team would work with him this week with the "intent of if he's ready to play, he'll play" against the Falcons. He and the trainers wanted to see Young "consistently cut it loose" and play with confidence in his knee.
That confidence grew steadily over the three-week period that he was designated to practice, and it increased at a quicker rate over the past three practices.
"Chase looked good," Rivera said Wednesday. "He did. He had a good day, showed us some things that we've been looking for and we'll continue to monitor his progress and we'll see how he does on Friday."
Should Young be active on Sunday, it is expected that he will play about 12-16 snaps, according to Rivera. Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota has been sacked 26 times this season, and their offensive line has the third-highest adjusted sack rate in the NFL, so even in a limited capacity, having Young in the lineup will give an even stronger advantage to a Commanders defensive front that is playing well in the second half of the season.
"Shoot. Sixteen plays? One of them could be the play of the game," Young said. "You just never know. However many snaps I have when I come back, I'll be prepared."
Other news for the Commanders is not as positive. Benjamin St-Juste has been ruled out after missing all week with an ankle injury. It is certainly a blow to Washington's secondary, which has allowed the eighth-lowest average passing yards over the last three games. St-Juste has been key factor in that success, as he has lined up against opponents' best receivers and held his own while lined up across from the likes of Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown and Brandin Cooks.
Washington will also be without Dax Milne, who has dealt with a foot injury. Milne is the team's primary punt returner, so the team will need to find another answer for the time being. Milne has the 12th highest punt return average in the league (7.77) and has the sixth-most total punt return yards (233).
Jahan Dotson is second on the depth chart at punt returner. Dotson had 23 returns in college for 338 yards and a touchdown, which came in 2020. Dotson averaged 13.5 yards per return over four seasons.
Tight end Logan Thomas will also be questionable with a rib injury and an illness. Thomas looked more like himself in Washington's win over the Houston Texans with five receptions for 65 yards. Assuming Thomas plays, he will be another asset for Taylor Heinicke against the Falcons, who have allowed the second most total passing yards all season.