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Chase Young remains confident in his recovery process

06012022 OTAs 159

The Washington Commanders were in the middle of team drills during Wednesday's OTA when a voice came bellowing from the other end of the field: "Let's go, 'Tez!"

Chase Young had just strolled onto the field with a trainer in street clothes. He wasn't there to suit up -- that's still a long way off -- but he was going to do everything he could to cheer on his teammates as they prepare for the 2022 season.

That's how Young has been living these days. When he's not in Colorado recovering from the knee injury he suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, he's at the team facility offering tips and support to help his teammates improve this offseason.

The rehab has demanded the majority of Young's attention, though. It's been a daily grind, but he has made progress as he strives towards returning to the field at some point this season.

"I'm ready to play, man," Young told Julie Donaldson. "I'm anxious to get back on [the field], so I'm busting my butt."

Young, who sustained his knee injury six months ago, is in high spirits regarding his recovery, which falls in line with the last update he provided in January during the team’s exit interviews. He said his knees were "getting better every day," and he was determined to make a full recovery as soon as possible.

Five months later, Young remains optimistic about his progress. He said he's at the stage where he can start running, which is certainly a good sign. With that in mind, he's still of the mindset that he needs to be patient, so he's not rushing back onto the field just yet.

"It's a lot more to go, obviously," Young said. "Right now, I'm just taking it one day at a time and just trying to get back with my team."

While speaking to the media after practice, Young said there's not a timetable for his return, and coach Ron Rivera backed that up by saying it's still too early to tell when he will participate.

"The doctor has been pleased with it," Rivera said. "There is a plan, they're working on that plan, and we'll see where he is once we get ready for training camp."

In the meantime, Young is back at the facility enjoying the fact that he can be on the field in some capacity to help his teammates.

"It means everything, just to see my teammates, talk to [Montez Sweat] while he's on the field," Young said. "Just try to help him with certain little tips I might see … Just little things that I couldn't do, because most of the time I'm on the field with him."

Young is focused on staying mentally sharp, too. Giving tips from the sideline allows him to see the field differently, and he has a lot more time to watch film and catch up on things he needs to correct.

Rivera isn't going to complain about having Young in the building.

"I think it's a good thing. Again, having one of your veteran players, one of your leaders out and around in spite of the fact that he's rehabbing, it's good. It is voluntary obviously, and minicamp is not for a couple more weeks, but for the most part, having guys here is very important."

Young said the time recovering from his injury has been a reminder that adversity can occur at any moment, and whether players bounce back from it depends on how they respond.

For what it's worth, Young has been handling his situation the right way.

"Everything is going as planned," he said. "I'm happy where I'm at, and I'm confident on everything I'm doing going forward."

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