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Practice notes | Brian Robinson out, Emmanuel Forbes active vs. Rams

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The Washington Commanders will be without one of their top playmakers when they make the trip to Los Angeles this weekend. Brian Robinson Jr., who has dealt with a hamstring injury since the team's Week 13 game against the Miami Dolphins, has been ruled out for the road matchup against the Rams.

The decision to shut Robinson down for this weekend is something of a surprise, given head coach Ron Rivera’s answers when asked by reporters about the running back's status after the bye week. Rivera said the team would evaluate Robinson throughout the week, but he also expressed some confidence that Robinson would be "ready to go for practice" on Wednesday.

But Robinson was not in uniform when the Commanders returned to the practice field earlier this week, nor did he participate on Thursday or Friday.

Losing Robinson creates more challenges for the Commanders' offense, as he has consistently been one of their most productive weapons. He leads the team in touches (189), scrimmage yards (990) and touchdowns (8). He's become more of a pass-catcher in his second season, catching 29 passes on 36 targets for 326 yards and averaging 11.2 yards per reception (fourth best on the team).

Washington will have to rely on Antonio Gibson and Chris Rodriguez Jr. in Robinson's absence. Gibson has taken on a smaller role with Robinson as the lead back, accounting for 515 yards and two scores. Rodriguez, a sixth-round pick out of Kentucky, only has 31 carries for 154 yards but does average five yards per attempt.

On a more positive note, Washington will have Emmanuel Forbes Jr. back in the lineup after missing the Commanders' previous two games. He was a full participant all week, although he is wearing a brace on his left elbow. Now that he's back on the field, Rivera wants to see Forbes continue to develop and get as many reps as possible.

"We want to see him use the techniques that he's being coached to use, work on those little things, work on the details of his job," Rivera said.

Saahdiq Charles, who has been on Injured Reserve with a calf injury, is another notable addition who has been activated off Injured Reserve. Charles was designated to return earlier this week, and he was a full participant in each of Washington's practices.

"It was good to see him out there," Rivera said Wednesday. "He's moving pretty well already. He's an explosive, dynamic, big guy. Again, he's got to work his technique and show us that he's ready to be on the field, that's for sure."

As for what that will mean for the starting lineup on the offensive line when he returns, Rivera isn't making any decisions yet.

"We'll see how he's coming along and how he's working before we make any decisions on any of that stuff."

Linebacker Jamin Davis started the week on the injury report but was later placed on Injured Reserve, which was confirmed by Rivera on Monday. Tight end Curtis Hodges, who has yet to play in a game this season, has been placed on Injured Reserve.

James Smith-Williams has been battling a hamstring injury since the team's game against the Seattle Seahawks and will miss his fourth consecutive game.

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