NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders will get one of their star defensive players back on the field this week. Edge rusher Chase Young was removed from the team's Week 16 injury report, and head coach Ron Rivera told reporters that Young will play in the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

Young tore his ACL in Week 10 of the 2021 season, and has not played since. He had been activated from injured reserve but not active on game day over the last several weeks, but is finally available to play on Saturday. 

The former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, Young made an immediate impact as a rookie when he collected 7.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. That performance led to Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, as well as a Pro Bowl berth. Like the rest of the Washington defense, Young took a step backward last year, notching only 1.5 sacks, four hits, and three tackles for loss in nine contests. 

His return is a big boost for the Commanders, who remain in the thick of the playoff race despite a loss to the division rival New York Giants in Week 15. Washington plays at San Francisco on Sunday before hosting the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys in the final two weeks of the regular season.