The Dallas Cowboys were beaten up by the San Francisco 49ers last week more than on just the scoreboard. A handful of Cowboys exited the embarrassing loss with injuries, including linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
Unfortunately, fans hoping for a quick recovery from the former All-Pro defender will be left disappointed after the latest injury update.
Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Thursday that Vander Esch is being placed on the injured reserve with a neck injury, per The Athletic's Jon Machota.
Leighton Vander Esch Injury Update
A stint on the IR means that Vander Esch must miss at least four games before suiting up again That means that the earliest he can play is when the Cowboys host the rival New York Giants on Nov. 12.
The injury occurred in the second half against the 49ers when Vander Esch collided with teammate Micah Parsons. While the X-ray results came back negative, the situation is still worrying for the Dallas faithful given LVE's history with neck injuries.
Vander Esch was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis in 2019, which plays a role in his recurring neck issues. He missed six games in his sophomore year at college because of a neck injury, as well as seven games in 2019 and another three last year.
Hopefully, Vander Esch can use the next month to get back to full health. He's one of the Cowboys' key pieces on defense as he shares the team lead in solo tackles (17) while also recording an 11-yard fumble recovery for his first-ever touchdown this season.
In the meantime, Dallas is using veteran LB Rashaan Evans as a temporary fill-in for Vander Esch. Even if Evans steps up, there's no replicating what No. 55 brings to the table both on and off the gridiron.
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