Could the Washington Commanders have a new center on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles?
During Thursday’s practice, veteran Tyler Larsen was snapping to quarterback Sam Howell. Nick Gates was snapping to backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) October 26, 2023
Is this one of the changes head coach Ron Rivera can make to shake things up?
Larsen, 32, is a 10-year veteran and has been with Washington since 2021, following Rivera to the Commanders from Carolina. Over the past two seasons, Larsen replaced injured center Chase Roullier, starting 11 games. In 2021, Larsen started three games before a leg injury ended his season, too.
In 2022, with Roullier out again and Nick Martin struggling, Larsen was healthy enough to return to the lineup in Week 6. Larsen made eight starts, and during that time, the Commanders went 6-1-1 before dislocating his kneecap and ending the year on injured reserve.
If Larsen is indeed the new center, that could be good news for Howell. If the Commanders make the change, it’s more bad news for Rivera. Gates, who signed a three-year deal to be Washington’s new center, would be benched after seven games.
Right tackle Andrew Wylie was better against the Giants in Week 7 but has struggled all season. Those were Rivera’s top two free-agent signings in the offseason, and combined with a draft class that has given Washington nothing, you can see why the Commanders are in the shape they currently are.