- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 25, 2021

ASHBURN — The Washington Football Team had near-perfect attendance for Tuesday’s OTA voluntary practice, but there were some big-time faces missing from the defense. Chase Young and Montez Sweat — the team’s top edge rushers — both skipped the session at the team’s facility.

Coach Ron Rivera said Young and Sweat have been in communication with their position coaches, and stressed that OTAs are voluntary. But Young and Sweat accounted for half of the team’s absences, with wide receiver Steven Sims and tackle Charles Leno Jr. also not there.

It is not clear if Young and Sweat have shown up to the offseason program at any point this offseason. Washington is in Phase 3 of OTAs — meaning the team is allowed to hold 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, but cannot have contact.

Washington will hold a mandatory three-day minicamp June 15-17 in which Young and Sweat will be expected to show up.

“You’d love to have everybody here, especially because we’ve got 86 guys [in attendance],” Rivera said. “It’d be nice to have everybody. But I get it. Guys are entitled to do the things they feel they need to do right now. 

“They’re both good, young, solid football players and the thing is, they’ll be here when they’re here.”

Young and Sweat led Washington in sacks last year. Young, the second overall pick in 2020, had 7 ½ sacks and was voted a team captain near the end of the year. Sweat, in his second season, led the team with nine sacks — a career high. 

Rivera did not give a reason as to why any of the four players skipped Tuesday’s practice. Leno, however, has said he plans to join the team next month as his wife just recently had a baby. 

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