The Washington Commanders are excited that Chase Young is back on the active roster, and they should be. After all, he is a rare talent as a defensive end that could only bolster a defensive line that is already playing at a high level.
The next step is to get Young back on the field to use that skill set to positively influence games. And while he will be part of the game plan whenever that happens -- there is no guarantee that he will be ready to go against the Atlanta Falcons -- do not expect Ron Rivera, Jack Del Rio and the rest of the Commanders' staff to get away from their cautious approach to managing expectations for Young's impact.
"Right now we are just getting him into practice, getting him involved, trying to work up his conditioning, his comfort level, his trust and belief in his own body and how it is healed and ready to go," Del Rio said. "All of those things are underway. I know we aren't going to play him 70 plays on day one but we will move him in when we can and get him involved. I am excited to get him out there."
Just as when Young was on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list, the sticking point is making sure that Young has the confidence in his knee to plant his foot in the ground and play with explosion. Although he has been progressing over the last three weeks, the growth has been more incremental.
However, it seems like things are starting to pick up steam.
"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."
If he does play against the Falcons, it will be more sparingly to start. Rivera said Monday that he envisions Young playing about 12-16 snaps and gradually increasing them for the remaining games.
You will not hear any complaints from Young.
"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."
Washington's defensive line has performed up to the expectations of having multiple first-round picks during the team's winning stretch. They are playing off each other well, and their rush discipline has led to the Commanders racking up 29 sacks. Finding his place in that chemistry after not playing for over a year will be important for Young.
"When you have guys that are right now orchestrated in terms of how they're feeling and feeding off of each other, it's impressive," Rivera said. "That's something that Chase will have to develop and get a feel for again."
With the possibility of adding someone with Young's talent on the horizon, Rivera and the Commanders are dedicated to figuring it out.
"We have a really good mixture of guys right now that are playing really well as a group and I know that's the last thing that anybody wants, especially Chase, is to come in and be disruptive," Rivera said. "So, we'll gradually and we'll have to be smart, but we'll do this the right way."
Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.
The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the Commanders' team mascot, Mando.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras writes about Carson Wentz taking the high road in return to practice.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux writes that Carson Wentz understands the decision to keep Heinicke as the starter.
- NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux reports that Chase Young is making progress but remains day-to-day.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey writes that Brian Robinson is grateful for life.
- The Athletic's Ben Standig looks at the Commanders' playoff hopes.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier writes about how the Commanders became a team of sneakerheads.
- The Washington Post's Sam Fortier also writes about how Chase Young will fit in on the Commanders' defensive line.
- The Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala writes about the Commanders activating Chase Young.
- The Washington Times' Matthew Paras looks at the Commanders riding the high of winning five of the last six games.
- NBC Sports Washington's Bijan Todd reports on London Fletcher being named a Hall of Fam semifinalist.
- NBC Sports Washington's Peter Hailey explains why the Commanders are succeeding with Taylor Heinicke.
The Washington Commanders have wrapped up their first day of practice this week. Here are the best photos from Wednesday afternoon. (Photos by Kourtney Carroll/Washington Commanders)
Check Out What's On Commanders.com:
- Practice report | Wentz looking to help Heinicke succeed in any way possible
- Commanders vs. Falcons preview | Taking on the ATL
- Being named starter a full circle moment for Heinicke
- London Fletcher, Henry Ellard named HOF semifinalists
- From the booth | Getting way too far ahead of ourselves
- Chase Young activated to 53-man roster
- 5 takeaways from Washington's win over Houston
- 3 numbers to know from Washington's win against Houston
- Commanders-Texans Stats & Snaps
- Instant analysis | Commanders' defense smothers Houston in 23-10 victory
- Game balls | 3 standouts from Washington's win in Houston