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  • Writer's pictureAl Thompson


Young's returns also shifts narrative from a disastrous news cycle for the embattled NFL franchise

Washington Commanders standout defensive end Chase Young is about to lower the boom on Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts in a 2020 game at the Linc. Photo by Andy Lewis.

At the start of the week, there wasn’t much to get excited about with regards to the Eagles hosting the Washington Commanders on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM, ESPN, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman).

Former Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is out and his replacement, Taylor Heinicke isn’t exactly lighting up the marquee for this game.

The Eagles are undefeated (8-0) and Commanders are 4-5 after dropping a 20-17 verdict to the Minnesota Vikings, getting outscored 13-7 in the fourth quarter en route to the defeat.

That’s their story on the field. Off the field, the Washington NFL franchise is dealing with a massive national story. Here is what the Washington Post reported on November 10, 2022.

“In the culmination of an investigation that began more than a year ago, the office of D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine (D) said Thursday that it filed a consumer protection lawsuit against the Washington Commanders, franchise owner Daniel Snyder, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, accusing them of colluding to deceive and mislead customers about an investigation of the team’s workplace to maintain its fan base in pursuit of revenue.”

The onfield story got much more interesting when reports surfaced that standout defensive end Chase Young might be activated in time to face the Eagles. The 6-foot-5, 264-pounder has been practicing since November 2.

Eagles All Pro right tackle Lane Johnson always seems to bristle when the Birds face an elite pass rusher. He has made Hall of Fame caliber defensive ends like Von Miller look foolish.

Young walks with the best.

The 23-year-old has been sidelined since week ten of the 2021 season.

Young's 2021 season, which followed a sensational rookie year, saw him record 21 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles before suffering a season-ending ACL tear in his right knee during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chase Young lines up against the Eagles during game in 2020 a the Linc. Photo by Andy Lewis.

According to published reports, in order to reconstruct his ACL, the surgery included grafting part of the patellar tendon from his other knee. Young was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp in 2022.

But media reports out of Washington more than hint Young could be activated for Monday night’s game at the Linc.

“He’s a great player,” Johnson said at his locker this week. “Him and Montez (Sweat), are a tough matchup. In fact, their d-line is probably one of the better lines we’ll play. They got good interior guys, edge rushers and line backing corps. It’ll be a tough time for us.”

Johnson was asked that if Young plays, and the Eagles are preparing for him to play, would he expect him to be rusty?

“He can be very effective,” Johnson said. “He’s a good player. I know he’s itching to get back out there. He definitely makes that team better when he’s out there.”

Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert sounded like was excited to hear the Commanders star might be back on the field.

“It’ll be a good game,” Goedert said at his locker this week. “Obviously their defense has changed a little bit since the first time we played them, but they’ve been flying around their front four. You’ve got to handle that and take advantage when we get the opportunities that present themselves.”

How does Chase Young change the Eagles approach as an offense…if at all?

“He doesn’t change it at all,“ said Goedert, who has caught 40 passes for 521 yards and two touchdowns on the season. “We’ve got great tackles, and I love going against the best, it brings out the best in me, I believe. If he comes out there, I’ll be excited to go against him.”

Young, like Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons, is a game wrecker, Goedert was about that aspect of his game.

“Obviously you look at those people (Parsons, Young), you know who they are,” Goedert said. “You try to make sure they don’t ruin the game. But at the same time you just have to stick to your regular plan. Lucky for us, we’ve got a really good O-line who does a tremendous job have handling a good defensive end and d-tackles that we face. I’m just glad we’ve got those five boys up front.”

So will Jalen Hurts. *

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