Leighton Vander Esh was among the Dallas Cowboys’ players injured in Sunday’s 42-10 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers. The linebacker may be out for a long time.
Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys’ head coach, told reporters on Monday that they may put Vander Esch onto the injured reserve.
If he does so, he will be ineligible to play the next four matches of his team.
Vander Esch was forced to leave Sunday’s game due to a neck injury. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer the 27-year old underwent a MRI on Sunday after X-rays at AT&T Stadium came back negative.
Cowboys are considering placing LB Leighton Vander Esch on injured reserve due to the neck he injury he suffered during Sunday night’s loss to the 49ers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 9, 2023
McCarthy said that they are exercising “high caution” when dealing with Vander Esch who has suffered neck injuries all throughout his career.
Vander Esch had to miss seven games and undergo surgery in 2019 after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis. He had neck problems in college that led him to wear a collar.
Vander Esch, who played every game of 2021, recorded 90 tackles in 14 games, including a forced-fumble and a sack. The former first round pick has recorded 30 tackles so far this season. He also returned a fumble to score a touchdown during the Cowboys win against the New England Patriots in Week 4.
Dallas’ defense would be hurt by an extended absence ahead of a tough stretch. The Cowboys’ next three games will be against top-10 offensive teams, including an important division matchup at Philadelphia in Week 9.
Next Monday, they’ll play in Los Angeles against the Chargers.