The Washington Commanders could be without their starting center this weekend.
Veteran Tyler Larsen, who missed Wednesday's practice with a knee issue, was a limited participant on Friday and will be questionable against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 3.
Fullback Alex Armah (hamstring) will be active, setting him to contribute for the Burgundy & Gold for the first time since Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Since getting his first start of the season Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8, Larsen has played a role in how much the Commanders have improved at protection quarterback Sam Howell. While not the sole reason why the Commanders have allowed sacks at a more manageable rate in recent weeks, Larsen has been praised for his grasp of the offense and helping Howell with protection calls.
According to Pro Football Focus, Larsen has allowed just three quarterback hits on 264 dropbacks.
"There's a lot of girth between our two guards and our center," head coach Ron Rivera said Nov. 6. "I think that's been a big part. They're very stout. Then secondly, I think the big part of it too has really been how veteran Tyler is. His experience, his understanding, and feel for what we're doing and how we're doing it."
Larsen and the Commanders' offensive line will face another difficult task on Sunday against the Dolphins' front, which is littered with talent like Bradley Chubb and Christian Wilkins. They are tied for the third most sacks in the league with 38, and their pass-rush win-rate of 49% ranks eighth. Chubb is one of the most successful edge rushers this season with a fourth-best win rate of 26%, despite being double teamed on 15% of his pass rushes.
"it's one of those schemes that you have to be patient," Eric Bieniemy said of Miami defensive coordinator Vic Fangio's defense. "You have to be patient, and you got to be patient to drive the length of the field, and you got to take what is given. At times, he may take a chance and create some type of pressure. Obviously, he's going to bring his four- and five-man pressure, but he wants you to make the mistake."
In terms of pressure, having Armah back should help with some of that. Armah only has one catch for three yards but has been pivotal in pass protection and run-blocking. His contributions should help against a Dolphins defense that gives up only 93 yards on the ground.
On defense, the Commanders will be without James Smith-Williams (hamstring) and cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr. (elbow) Forbes has not played since sustaining the injury against the Giants in Week 11, and when asked about the first-round pick on Monday, Rivera described the injury as "significant."
"We'll see how he is and how treatments are going and from there...the training staff and doctors will decide when's the best opportunity to get him back on the football field."