Cowboys don’t think Leighton Vander Esch’s neck injury is career threatening

Getty Images

The Cowboys will play without linebacker Leighton Vander Esch this week and they’re not sure when he’ll be back in action, but head coach Jason Garrett made it clear on Friday that they do expect him to return to action.

Vander Esch missed a game with neck issues earlier this season and there was word that some teams had concerns about his neck heading into the 2018 draft, but they didn’t stop the Cowboys from taking him in the first round and Garrett said this week’s problems aren’t thought to put Vander Esch at risk of an early retirement.

“We don’t think it’s career threatening,” Garrett said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We think at some point he will be back. We think it needs to calm down. Want to give it time to do that. Hopefully, we can get him back real soon.”

The sooner the Cowboys have a healthy Vander Esch in the lineup the better, but the nature of his injury and the fact that he’s dealt with it multiple times this season suggest that it may not be a one-week absence.