Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young will not play in Sunday's season opener against the Arizona Cardinals. The Commanders downgraded Young to out because of a stinger in his neck suffered in the first preseason game.
Young was cleared Saturday for contact, but the coaches and doctors want to see how he responds to contact in practice before playing him in a game, a team source said.
Young was hurt after four plays in the Aug. 11 preseason opener at Cleveland. He has practiced ever since, even on full-padded days, but was not allowed to participate in contact.
On Wednesday, Young expressed optimism saying, "I feel fine. I'm ready to go."
But there is a chance Young won't play until Week 3 because of the injury, a team source said, as doctors want to gradually ease him back into contact.
Young, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 draft, played only three games last season after returning from a torn ACL and ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee in 2021. He looked sharp early in training camp before his stinger, showing more burst off the line of scrimmage than at the end of last season.
He was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 7.5 sacks, forcing four fumbles, recovering three and returning one for a touchdown. But he has played in just 12 games since that season with 1.5 sacks.
Young's contract expires after this season. Washington declined to pick up his fifth-year option in the offseason.
Washington could be without one of its backup defensive ends as James Smith-Williams is listed as questionable with an oblique injury. The Commanders signed defensive end William Bradley-King on Friday after cutting him last month.
Also Saturday, the Commanders elevated receiver Jamison Crowder from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.