The Washington Commanders are about to receive a huge boost for the stretch run.
On Monday, the team activated Chase Young to the 53-man roster. The star defensive lineman hasn't played since tearing his ACL in Week 10 of the 2021 season.
Young returned to practice earlier this month after getting designated to return off the injured reserve. The Commanders had to activate the 23-year-old this week after starting his 21-day window on Nov. 2.
However, Young isn't certain to return this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Head coach Ron Rivera said he'll operate on a "pitch count" if active.
Upon getting selected with the No. 2 pick in 2020, Young earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with 7.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits, and four forced fumbles.
He settled for 1.5 sacks last season before his season ended early.
Washington improbably won the NFC East at 7-9 during Young's rookie season, but every other team in the division already has at least seven victories through Week 11.
Yet the Commanders have improved to 6-5 after winning four of their last five games started by Taylor Heinicke. They'd possess the NFC's last wild-card spot if the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night.
Young's return is a major addition for a defense that already ranks sixth in yards allowed. Even if he's not ready for a Week 12 matchup against the 5-6 Falcons, he can return in time for two games against the New York Giants.