Chase Young's doing 'exactly what he needs to do' with ACL recovery

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Chase Young doing 'exactly what he needs to' in ACL rehab originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When the Commanders began the first phase of offseason workouts last week, Chase Young's participation was rather notable. That was not only due to the fact that he's recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last November, but also because his absence from a portion of team activities last May seemed to irk his head coach in the moment.

On Monday, that same head coach acknowledged that Young's attendance this time around pleased him.

"It's a great sight to see," Ron Rivera told reporters during a pre-draft press conference.

Rivera also came across as enthused by how Young's rehab is progressing from the significant knee injury he suffered in Week 9 against the Buccaneers last fall.

"He's been doing real well," Rivera said. "Got an opportunity to spend a little time with him and he's fired up. He's really focused in and attacking his rehab."

The Commanders recently hired Al Bellamy to be the squad's new head trainer and according to Rivera, Bellamy and Young have held a meeting where Bellamy "mapped things out" for the pass rusher as he continues to work back into shape.

At this time, though, the map does not include a specific date that Young or the club is setting for his return. Young's teammate Logan Thomas — who is recovering from his own serious knee injury — gave some insight into Young's journey last week on an appearance with the Sports Junkies.

"We're not going put a time limit on anybody's injuries," Rivera said. "All we can tell you is he's doing exactly what he needs to do."

Young's 2021 was a lackluster one even before the ACL tear. In the eight full games before facing Tampa Bay, he registered just one-and-a-half sacks and failed to produce any legitimate impact plays in other areas such as interceptions, pass knockdowns or tackles for loss. He also was flagged for five penalties, four of which were accepted.

In all, the campaign was a surprising and disappointing regression for a player who looked destined for superstardom after an electric rookie season. Because of it, Young's pro résumé now has one strong and one silent year on it, setting 2022 up to be a pivotal fork early on in his time with the Commanders.

When that potential turning point will commence is unclear, but at least Rivera is encouraged by how Young is approaching it. With Week 1 still more than four months away, however, No. 99 must maintain his current commitment in order to be 100% again for the Commanders.