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Emmanuel Forbes making the most of limited playing time

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CB Emmanuel Forbes brought a combination of speed and ball hawking ability to the Washington roster this year as a rookie straight out of Mississippi State. The first-round pick had a historic college career but has struggled to make his impactful debut for the Commander's defense.

After struggling in three games and allowing nearly 200 receiving yards and two touchdowns- Forbes was benched. However, he's determined to utilize his undying work ethic to bring him back onto the field. 

Though after being benched in Week 6, Forbes says he's all about embracing the chance he has to learn from the sideline and the advice his teammates possess, as well as embracing this time in his career and continuing to work. 

"It's a learning experience, learning from the sideline," Forbes said. "Just taking notes and cheering on my teammates, honestly. Seeing how the quarterback and knowing what reads he goes through and different teammates going through situations and how I can add to my game."

Check out the best photos from the Washington Commanders' Week 7 matchup against the New York Giants. (Photos by Emilee Fails/Washington Commanders)

Forbes typically experiences the defensive end of play during games. However, this has allowed him to read how the offense carries out plays more. And for him, this could be a real asset when he gets back onto the field and can see both sides of the play more definitely.

And while he grows his knowledge of offensive tactics, he's also growing and bonding with his defense.

"We all just stayed strong the whole defense together, especially the secondary teammates," Forbes said. "Everyone just gives me advice every day, and I give them advice if they need it too."

The relationship Forbes maintains across the team is essential and is part of the value he adds to Washington's football program. He's also continued to ride well-managed spirits around the locker room and doesn't allow his game setbacks to hinder his work ethic.

"He's maintained an excellent disposition and work ethic," said defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. "And these are things we wanna see in terms of preparing and working."

But still, Forbes has significant and undeniable talent- it's about allowing him to train at this level and adjust to the new level of play, and recuperating mentally to be ready to take the field.

"He's a natural corner," said head coach Ron Rivera. "I mean, he understands and gets that you have to be ready to move on to the next thing, and in the meantime, you just do the best you can and get yourself ready to go."

The preparation can take time, and it's crucial to find a balance between learning and sticking to the parts of his playing style that made him the first-round pick, to begin with and what made him so attractive to Washington.

"There's always going to be ups and downs in football," Forbes said. "So, you've just got to embrace it and stay true to yourself."

Forbes is just beginning his career in the NFL, and there are high hopes for what he can achieve as a cornerback for the Commanders. However, to come to that means allowing his natural progression as a young player.

"It's going to take a little bit of time sometime," Rivera said. "And as he grows and your point as well, there is a certain spot where it is about winning. We went through that my very first season. We tried something my first four weeks, and I just felt I owed it to doing something different, and I did."

Forbes continues to work on his ability to better his skills and work on the confidence it'll take to transition them over into gameplay. Along the way, he has immense support from teammates and coaches who know his consistent work ethic and skills will be back in the game, helping him build his stature as an NFL CB.

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