After suffering an elbow injury, the Washington Commanders need to keep the bigger picture in mind and sit cornerback Emmanuel Forbes for their remaining games.
When Washington’s commanders chose Emmanuel Forbes to No. 16 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, he was seen as someone who could finally resolve their high school struggles. No one expected an All-Pro campaign from the start, but the cornerback’s ball-hawking skills in college suggested a strong rookie season might be in sight.
It was clear from the start that Forbes was going to have some growing pains. The Commanders gave the former Mississippi State star responsibilities he wasn’t ready for, leading him to consistently give up big plays when lined up against some of the toughest wide receivers prolific players in the league.
Ron Rivera has decided to take Forbes out of the firing line for a brief period. He looked much better once settled back into the rotation, but a cruel blow was dealt in Week 11, just when it looked like the first-year pro might generate some momentum.
Forbes didn’t take any risks during a short week with the Dallas Cowboys. But Rivera admitted via USA Today Sports that the elbow complication appeared significant and that commanders were awaiting further advice from medical staff before taking further action.
“He had a pretty significant injury there, so we’ll see how he goes and how the treatments go, and from there we’ll decide, or the training staff and doctors will decide what’s the best opportunity to get it back. on the football field.”
– Ron Rivera via USA Today Sports
The Commanders are only playing for pride in their remaining five games. Rivera is about to oversee his fourth straight losing season, so throwing in the towel on Forbes’ rookie year represents the best course for his long-term prospects.
If he enters a meaningless contest and does even more damage to his elbow, it’s total malpractice. Whether Rivera is there or not – which seems unlikely based on growing reports he will be relieved of his duties at the end of the season – Forbes was a big investment by the commanders and must be protected accordingly.
This move is unlikely to be welcomed by Forbes, which is very competitive and wants to be in the field. However, it is essential to keep the bigger picture in mind. If that means missing a few games that might feel like preseason games, so be it.
Washington doesn’t really set the world on fire at the cornerback position, other than Kendall Fuller. But you have to wonder what difference a less than 100 percent Forbes would make against such tough opposition.
Sit him outside. Let him learn. Make sure he gets the right treatment and is allowed to rehabilitate at his own pace. This is the sensible approach.
Forbes could then get his body and mind in order during the offseason before OTA time. Of course, commanders will the air is very different at this pointso there will be some new looks to impress as we pursue participation in 2024.
All hope is not lost with Forbes. There’s certainly enough talent to build on, but it’s hard to look back on his first season in Washington with anything other than disappointment.
Back to the drawing board, so to speak.