Recently Signed New Orleans Saints Edge Rusher Chase Young to Undergo Neck Procedure

The New Orleans Saints' recent signing of Pro Bowl edge rusher Chase Young is already off to a distressing start. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year is undergoing a neck procedure that is expected to shelve him until at least training camp.

Young entered the league as one of the most coveted edge rushing prospects of all time thanks to a dominant 34-game run at Ohio State that included 30.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. After being selected second overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Washington Commanders, he burst onto the scene with a Pro Bowl season, amassing 7.5 sacks and earning a sterling 87.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. 

The Saints signed Young to a one-year, $13 million deal earlier this week. Schefter notes that the team knew what it was getting into regarding Young's neck, but he also notes that the timeline for Young's recovery isn't exactly clear. "The expectation" is that he will return in time for the season.

Unfortunately, Young already has a history of injury. Notably, he missed 22 games from 2021 to 2022 due to a long, drawn-out recovery from an ACL tear. He bounced back in 2023, playing 735 total snaps for the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Commanders while earning a respectable 74.4 overall grade from PFF, but this neck injury already feels like one step forward, two steps back.

Young isn't even 25 years old yet, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to imagine him ever delivering on the promise that made him a Pro Bowler as a rookie. He's been effective when healthy, but if he's going to become a truly elite pass rusher (and be compensated as such), he'll need a career season this year. He's not off to a great start.

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