On his very first snap after returning from a hamstring injury that had sidelined him for multiple games, Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee suffered an injury to his neck. The fourth-year player out of Penn State, who has yet to remain healthy enough to play a full 16 game season, attempted to play through the injury, a strained ligament, to no avail. Lee managed to play a total of 47 snaps against Chicago before leaving the field for good during the third quarter. Now it appears that his brief appearance against Da Bears could have been the last time Lee will see the field in 2013. Earlier today, Sean gave us an update on his condition.
"It's getting close to the end of the year and obviously you only have so much time left so ...I'd like to be back as soon as possible, but I don't know exactly when that it is, and the doctors have to give me a timetable and clear me. Hopefully I can be back, but right now we still have to do some more tests." -Sean Lee
Certainly it is never good news when a player is injured, especially one of Sean Lee's caliber; the news that he may not return is icing on the cake for a Cowboys linebacker corps that has found itself decimated in recent weeks. As my BTB colleague Rabblerousr pointed out in his weekly "By The Numbers" piece, Dallas found itself down to the fifth and final player [of the LB's that made the initial 53 man roster]...and two warm bodies.
Still, if you believe the medical reports that come out of the Valley Ranch, there is hope that Lee will return. The Cowboys defensive leader is hopeful that he will still be able to return to the field this season.
"My situation is week to week. We have to do more tests with the doctors. Until they clear me, I won't be in there. That is the key for me. Hopefully, they can clear me fairly soon. But they have to test that and figure that out."
Given all the false hope that the Dallas Cowboys have put out there in recent seasons, I am not holding my breath for fear of turning the same shade of blue that runs through my veins. We have been down this road far too many times in recent memory. If I had to guess, I would say that Lee's 2013 season has concluded. Cowboys executive vice-president Stephen Jones appears to be leaning that direction as well. Speaking with KRLD-FM 105.3 "The Fan", Jones gave us his assessment of what Sean faces. He called Lee a "long shot" to take the field against the Washington Redskins, although he did add that the linebacker has not been officially ruled out for the season. On the other hand, an unnamed team source has informed the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram that the front office expects to be informed later this week that Lee is done for the year. To those of us who follow the Cowboys closely, this looks like every other time the Dallas PR department has "prepped" us for bad news.
We have seen how situations like this normally play out in Dallas, haven't we? Why should we expect this time to be any different?