ASHBURN, Va. (AP/WAVY) – The training camp for the Washington Commanders has returned to Ashburn, Virginia, from July 27 through August 18.
At 5 p.m. Tuesday, head coach Ron Rivera addressed the media and had a lot to discuss, including that Chase Young is starting Washington Commanders camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
Watch the full press conference below.
Young is working to get back after surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. The 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year was injured in November. Doctors grafted part of the patellar tendon from Young’s left knee to help fix the tear. The 23-year-old Ohio State product has been taking a methodical approach to rehabbing the injury this offseason. There’s no guarantee Young will be ready to play in the season opener Sept. 11 against Jacksonville.
WAVY Sports Director Craig Loper and Reporter Nathan Epstein are in Ashburn. Look for their live coverage this week, beginning Tuesday night. It should be an exciting few days of coverage.
Fans who signed up via the free fan lottery to attend the Commanders training camp practices and were selected will also be in attendance. Practices are not open to the public not selected through the free fan lottery, but on Saturday, August 6, there is a special practice event being held at FedEx Field. This free event is open to the public on a first come first served basis.
See the FAQs about this year’s training camp, at this link.
LAST YEAR: New quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his left hip in the season opener, pressing surprise playoff performer, former Old Dominion University QB Taylor Heinicke into a starting role for the first time in his NFL career. The defense that came in with lofty expectations after ranking second in the league in 2020 struggled early and contributed to a 2-6 start. Despite losing pass rusher Chase Young to a torn ACL, Heinicke beat Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington went on a four-game winning streak to jump into the playoff hunt. Injuries and virus absences took their toll down the stretch and contributed to four losses in a row that dashed any postseason hopes.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: QB Carson Wentz, DE Efe Obada, OG Andrew Norwell, OG Trai Turner, rookie WR Jahan Dotson, rookie DL Phidarian Mathis, rookie QB Sam Howell
IMPORTANT LOSSES: RG Brandon Scherff, WR Adam Humphries, S Landon Collins, DT Tim Settle, DT Matt Ioannidis, LB Jon Bostic
CAMP NEEDS: Wentz finally gets a chance to build chemistry with Terry McLaurin after Washington’s top receiver missed offseason workouts while mired in contract negotiations. Camp will be all about what Wentz can do with the offense that previous quarterbacks could not. On the other side of the ball, Young’s comeback from his knee injury bears watching with an eye on him being ready for Week 1.
KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: Very few, actually, in what could be seen as an evolution of the roster going into coach Ron Rivera’s third season. Most importantly, there’s not even an illusion of a QB competition because of Wentz, and most of the offense is pretty well settled. Who replaces Collins at the so-called buffalo nickel spot is a question, along with 2021 first-round pick Jamin Davis trying to establish himself as a starting linebacker in the pros.
EXPECTATIONS: Rivera isn’t yet on the hot seat, but the organizational expectation is to make the playoffs in the first season known as the Commanders after the previous two as the Washington Football Team. There’s a reason the club traded for Wentz and drafted a handful of players who are more polished than other prospects but might have lower ceilings. Winning a weak NFC East at 7-9 in 2020 perhaps raised the bar too high too soon for Washington. But now there’s a concerted effort amid fan apathy and sagging attendance to at least earn a wild-card spot and start contending again.
FANDUEL SUPER BOWL ODDS: +7000