Leighton Vander Esch out 6-8 weeks with broken collarbone

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Shortly after he broke his collarbone on Sunday night, Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was expected to miss four to six weeks. After further testing, it appears a bit worse than that.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Vander Esch will have surgery and miss six to eight weeks.

The Cowboys’ 2018 first-round draft pick, Vander Esch was excellent as a rookie but has struggled with injuries since. Last year he missed seven games with a neck injury, and now it appears he’ll miss about that many with the broken collarbone.

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is already on injured reserve, so the team is thin at the position. Joe Thomas replaced Vander Esch at middle linebacker after he left the game on Sunday night.