- Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young is out for the season due to a torn ACL.
- The injury and confirmation that Young will be put on the season ending injured reserve list was made by head coach Ron Rivera.
- Young is the reigning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and a key component of the WFT’s defense.
The Washington Football Team isn’t having a great season. The problems began in preseason when head coach Ron Rivera had to shame his team due to their substandard COVID vaccination rate. They lost starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter of the season’s opening game and recent reports suggest that he’s likely done for the year. After winning the NFC East last season (albeit with a 7-9 record) Washington stands at a woeful 3-6 despite a good effort in a 29-19 upset of Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The WFT didn’t need any more bad news but they got some this weekend as defensive end Chase Young left the game with what looked like a significant injury at the time. Its severity was confirmed during head coach Ron Rivera’s weekly video conference call when he indicated that Young had suffered a torn ACL and would be put on the season ending injured reserve list. Young will have surgery to repair the injury and faces a long road back with no guarantees that he’ll be ready to play when the 2022 NFL season begins.
Washington was already without defensive end Montez Sweat who suffered a broken jaw against the Denver Broncos on October 31. He’s expected to miss another three to five weeks though the team just put him on injured reserve suggesting that he’ll miss at least a month. Second year players Casey Toohill and James Smith-Williams will start at the defensive end positions with rookie Shaka Toney as a primary backup. All three are seventh round picks and are being called upon to replace two of the best in the league at the position. Head coach Rivera summed up the reality of the situation as he explained what Young and Sweat bring to the table:
“They’re big, athletic and can move. Those guys are hard to find.”
Young was named the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 but had struggled to find his form this year. Rivera said that he liked what Young was showing in Sunday’s game prior to his injury:
“He had some good moments early in the game. It was promising. You do lose the threat of that type of player coming off the edge now. We have a couple workman guys who get an opportunity. We’ll see how they handle it.”
Rivera really liked the way that Young was not only becoming a dependable player but a vocal leader of the defensive unit:
“That’s one of the things you want, a guy who not only says something but at some point will make an impact play. That’s the tough part you have to replace…. Somebody will have to step up.”
Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen says that he hates to see Young injured but expects him to come back at 100%:
“It’s definitely sad. It’s going to be tough, but knowing Chase’s personality, knowing the way he works and the kind of guy he is, he’ll come back stronger than ever.”
Young had a monstrous rookie season in 2020 leading all first year players in sacks (7.5), tackles for loss (10), pressures (40) and tied for first in forced fumbles (4). Washington will play at Carolina on Sunday before hosting Seattle on Monday, November 29. They’ll travel to Las Vegas to face the Raiders on Sunday, December 5 before their season concludes with a gauntlet of NFC East matchups that will make or break their already fading playoff hopes. They’ll host Dallas on December 12 followed by road games at Philadelphia and Dallas. On January 2 they play Philadelphia at home before concluding the season on the road as the face the New York Giants on January 9.